“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”

28 Nov

Someone I know is currently embroiled in an unpleasant case of husband cheating on her, with a side of manipulative ass thrown in. They have children as well, which makes the entire thing just that much worse.

If there is one thing in life that I find morally repugnant, it’s cheating on a lover. Even more repulsive when it includes children. There is absolutely no excuse for cheating, aside from being morally weak. You don’t want to be in your marriage any longer, or a relationship? Then end it. Unless you have an open marriage, you’ve pledged to honor your partner, and to be faithful to them. Period. That is what being in a relationship means. (And even if you haven’t said vows, creating a relationship that says “we’re exclusive” functions as a vow).

I stumbled across a post where a woman had a friend who was a cheater, and she felt bad for judging her. My response? What in the hell is so wrong about judging behaviour that isn’t acceptable? What is wrong in judging a behaviour that has consequences across multiple lives?

Early on, I agreed with Mogo that if either of us were unhappy, we would break up BEFORE moving on to other people, out of respect for each other. We deserved at least that much if things went bad. It’s the adult thing to do, and way to be.

So why can’t people resist? What is the lure of betraying a trust and a confidence? Why is it acceptable to look away and not comment when someone essentially is breaking someone else’s heart? Why is it so hard to stand in place and say “This is WRONG” and mean it?

I’ll stand there and say it right now-if you cheat, you’re trash. Period. Baring an abusive relationship where things like vows and trust are already null and void, there is absolutely no reason to go behind someone else and cheat on them. And I will judge it. Absolutely.

Listening to this woman this morning talk about how much he hurt her, how she was willing to trust him and try again and he turned around and hurt her AGAIN, listening to her as the tears fell, I became so very angry. Angry at the people in this world who won’t judge where we need to judge, who won’t step up and say “Some things are WRONG.”

Just like jealousy, I don’t get cheating. Maybe I’m defective?

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17 Responses to ““Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.””

  1. Kathy November 28, 2007 at 11:37 am #

    I guess I’m defective, too. I’m not a big believer in marriage (at least not until everyone who wants to get married can), but it is a contract, and you’re breaking it if you cheat. Simple as that.

    I know people who’ve done all kinds of morally reprehensible things and the common defense seems to be, “well I was hurt, and he/she deserved it.” And somehow that’s supposed to make it okay. It doesn’t.

  2. Netter November 28, 2007 at 11:44 am #

    People who cheat don’t see they people they are betraying as of as much value as themselves. Period. There are some moral absolutes in life and violating the basic trust of a relationship is one of them. Monogamy wouldn’t be a cornerstone of our civilization if it weren’t valued. Hell, I always tell my husband that MEN are the ones that wanted monogamy (to make sure they were supporting their own children) so they should value the restrictions they’ve placed on themselves. If you want to be able to have sex with whomever you want whenever you want, don’t tell someone that you only want to be with them. There’s nothing wrong with being honest.

  3. charlotteotter November 28, 2007 at 11:48 am #

    i agree. Cheating is weak and pathetic and self-indulgent. People are too scared to face up to what is going wrong in their relationships – and their part in that – so they cheat.

  4. thordora November 28, 2007 at 11:52 am #

    If you want to be able to have sex with whomever you want whenever you want, don’t tell someone that you only want to be with them. There’s nothing wrong with being honest.

    EXACTLY. I totally support open marriages-I think they’re a great idea since I’m not convinced that monogamy is the best thing. But you have to establish that at the outset, not a little while in when something catches your fancy.

  5. radical mama November 28, 2007 at 12:35 pm #

    If open marriages were the norm, I’d have run off to the nunnery years ago. 😉

    But yeah, cheating husbands scare the hell out of me because no one ever sees it coming. How the hell is that? I trust John with every ounce of me, but still, whenever I hear of someone’s husband cheating on her, I realize how very vulnerable I am to love someone so completely.

  6. bine November 28, 2007 at 1:18 pm #

    i don’t understand cheating either. i may be tolerant of a little “slip” somewhere, but i get disgusted of stories about people who have well-disguised long-term affairs next to their marriage or relationship. what for? i don’t get it. is it just the feeling to have more than others? of getting all you can? or is it the kick of secrecy?
    i think how people think about faithfulness depends a lot on what they have witness in their own families. my parents have been very loyal and faithful to each other and valued respect for others greatly. i grew up in that surrounding. i couldn’t imagine cheating on someone that way.

  7. Jennifer November 28, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

    My dad cheated, and I used to ask him- if your thought was that you should have sex with E (a mutual ‘friend’ of my parents’, she approached my dad) because your marriage sucked then why the f*ck didn’t you get divorced? I wouldn’t have (I don’t think so at least) hated him for so many years, our relationship wouldn’t have been irreparably changed. His loss, I guess.
    I read the piece about the woman who lost her friend over cheating/judging. I agree- it is one thing to say you don’t want to judge a friend, another thing to deny your own standards/morals.

  8. Judy November 28, 2007 at 6:47 pm #

    Define cheating.

    See, the thing is, different people have different lines. And sometimes that isn’t easy to communicate or for the other partner to understand.

    For me, any sort of emotional or intellectual “cheating” is much, much worse than the physical. It hasn’t happened to me, so I don’t know what I’d actually do, but if my husband was in love with someone else, it would be much worse than if he slept with her.

    To take it further, though, (and I know this is odd coming from a former stripper, or maybe that’s why it makes sense, I don’t know), I would prefer – genuinely – for my husband, if it was an either/or, to have actual sex with another woman than to, say, look at porn or fantasize about another woman.

    they are two different acts in my book. A casual, brief, hormonally-induced night together is excusable, but actively consciously thinking about someone other than me is not. Really.

    And oh goodness, when I was pregnant (both times) I wanted nothing to do with sex. With our second son, I think we had sex a handful of times, and probably went 4-5 months (maybe more) without ANY. I told him he had full permission to get some on the side, but I know him well enough to know he wouldn’t, and didn’t.

    *sigh* My comments are always longer and more thoughtful than my blog posts.

    I’ve also been a cheater. I was married very young – 16 – the first time. I didn’t want to, but I was pregnant, and had no choice. I had no control over any aspect of my life. My ex spent all the money I earned, didn’t have a job, wouldn’t go to marriage counseling, had completely different parenting views. Was a general jerk. I felt like my body was the one thing I had control over, and so I used it. It wasn’t right, but now I understand it.

    So it’s never that easy.

  9. marcelarhodus November 28, 2007 at 11:41 pm #

    “Early on, I agreed with Mogo that if either of us were unhappy, we would break up BEFORE moving on to other people, out of respect for each other. We deserved at least that much if things went bad. It’s the adult thing to do, and way to be”

    exactly!
    my husband and I did the same, we have agreed that if something is going wrong in our relationship, we’ll discuss it openly and give the other person a chance. if there is no fixing, then saying goodbye honorably is the way to go.
    There is no reason for cheating, people use it as an escape from a life they really don’t want to escape.

    If I learned any of my friends were doing this, I would not support her in it. And probably cause of that the friendship would veer off, but you just can’t sit there and observe things you simply morally don’t agree with.

  10. radical mama November 29, 2007 at 9:18 am #

    Well, I do think that you can disagree (openly) with a person’s decisions and still support their journey back to the right path. I think for me it would depend on the friend’s own attitude. Are they justifying it, insisting that they were not wrong? Or do they acknowledget that they made a horrible, painful mistake and they need to start doing the right thing, whatever that is for their family? If it were the latter, I could be supportive. But if she were trying to justify cheating, that would show a serious lack of character that would ruin our friendship for sure.

  11. Marcy November 29, 2007 at 9:46 am #

    When we were dating, friends of ours who were married told us about their agreement to tell each other when they got a crush on someone else. Eye-opening — yes, you still get attracted to other people even when you’re happily married or committed. And being able to handle that maturely and appropriately is key. Some folks, I think, are so surprised by the new attraction, and think it’s a sign that their marriage isn’t enough, or a sign that this new person is The One…

  12. Hannah November 29, 2007 at 10:41 am #

    I agree. Cheating is a definite deal-breaker. It’s emotionally abusive and just plain wrong. And this is conversation you really should have when you enter into an exclusive relationship with someone. Unfortunately, that’s the time when everything is still all hearts and flowers and “we will be together forever and ever”. *

    I was cheated on once. And my feelings about it haven’t changed. You don’t want to be with me, okay. It’ll hurt but I’ll get over it. But don’t disrespect me too, by lying to me.

  13. thordora November 29, 2007 at 11:39 am #

    Judy-emotional abuse or physical-that’s the opt out for me. He’d already stolen your trust.

    But if it was just a plain old “well, I’m bored with him” kind of thing, then I can’t stomach it.

    And for me, so long as they menu is only read, I don’t mind. Fantasy, porn, etc doesn’t bother me in the slightest, so long as it’s not obsessive.

    And you stripped? Man, you must have some stories. I’ve always admired women brave enough to get up there and do that. My one trip to a strip club solidified that after watching the women doing everything they could to draw attention, and still have men ignoring them. I wouldn’t have the strength for it.

    I don’t know if I could tell Mogo if I had a “crush” on a “real” person (Daniel Craig doesn’t count) but he’s mentioned to me in the past when he’s found someone attractive. Doesn’t bother me, since I trust him implicitly.

    And I could kick his ass. That helps.

    Lust happens. It’s how you handle it that separates the children from the adults in most cases.

  14. Melanie November 29, 2007 at 3:08 pm #

    Breaking your partner’s trust in any way, physically or emotionally is completely unacceptable. I loath cheaters from personal experience. But no matter how much you may disagree with what someone is doing, in the end it’s their karmic circle. I have a friend who was sleeping with a married man. Now her story is a little twisted. This guy was her first serious boyfriend when they were young and the woman he married was the girl he cheated on my friend with. In her eyes it was all fair game. It took me a while to convince her that the scumbag she was screwing wasn’t worth it and she eventually ended it. I went to her as a friend, without judging her and in the end she saw reason. I’m very proud of her for breaking it off and have never thought ill of her but I don’t know what I would have done or how I would have felt about her if she hadn’t. It’s hard to respect someone who is doing something you consider morally wrong. I’m really glad she listened to me, we have been friends for over 25 years and she has always been there for me, especially when it was my heart being broken.

  15. bromac November 29, 2007 at 3:56 pm #

    Just would like to say that the plethora and variety of responses to this topic are quite interesting. Very open forum for such a hot topic.

    It’s very black and white for me: you cheat, you’re gone. Whether you’re cheating with your dick, cheating with your mind, or cheating with your emotions–it’s cheating. You’re gone.

  16. Judy November 29, 2007 at 8:44 pm #

    Ah, yes, I spent 4 years as a stripper. Not nude. No touching. Had to clarify. And I got out of it relatively unscathed – I used to drink too much, smoked a little (lot) pot, but no hard drugs, no “side jobs” or anything. Really, mostly, it was just a job that paid well. But my husband, a writer whose books have not made much money, is convinced that if I ever sit down to write my book, I’ll be the known and well-paid writer in the family. Only, I’m not a writer.

    And you’re right, I didn’t just “cheat.” I found out, after we’d been married a while, that he (my ex) had slept with someone else 2 weeks before we got married. Oh, it was bad.

    But cheating just to cheat? When it’s really cheating (as in, there is no prior agreement – I knew a couple who had a happy long lasting open marriage)? Then, no excuse.

  17. Barbie November 30, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    My father cheated on my mother about 12 years ago, if not more. He’s the Vice president of a company here, and his mistress was a lowly secretary, and she sucked his cock and now she’s like the Dean or something. And then, a few years later we found out that Mom’s new boyfriend was cheating on her too. I think cheaters are disgusting, and I’ve never forgiven my father for it. Maybe that’s evil of me, but it’s the truth.

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