Hypothetical Question

15 Feb

If someone, within a relationship, falls in love with someone else, it’s cheating, right? If someone else has a relationship that’s sexual in nature online, it’s cheating, right?

In case I’m crazy, cheating doesn’t always mean actual sex, right?


34 Responses to “Hypothetical Question”

  1. Heather February 15, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    No, cheating doesn’t have to mean actual sex. I think that some of these online, emotional affairs can be even more sinister and damaging than “actual sex”.

  2. CL February 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    There many more ways to cheat then just intercourse, but those boundaries are individual. I personally belive that emotional cheating is just as bad as physical. But these are my boundaries, everyone differs.

    Usually it’s the one who is caught that wants to have diffrering opinions.

    • thordora February 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

      Usually it’s the one who is caught that wants to have diffrering opinions.

      NO SHIT.

  3. Neil February 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    I think it is cheating, yes. I think online does allow a little more freedom than real life, which is one of the pleasures. You can let your “id” out more. I am much more likely to compliment a woman’s avatar’s hotness than say it to them in real life, but actual sexual interaction online, when in a relationship, is cheating.

  4. wn February 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Ouugh….tough one. Here are my thoughts…they are kinda direct…and indirect as well.

    I’m not sure it’s black and white on these issues. While certain activities lean towards the “cheating” line of thinking….not everything (in my mind) is automatically driven there.

    First – Falling in Love – well…, I think it depends on whether someone “checks out” of a marriage. You can’t help who you fall in love with…but you can help what you do about it. We all make choices as to how we act on it. We choose to stay married, to stay connected and to stay invested. When we choose to stay checked in…I’m not sure there is cheating…but there is heartbreak.

    Sexual relationships online are also grey(ish) to me. It’s all about circumstance. A few nights spent talking dirty online…are not (to me anyway) really cheating. I would consider it bad judgment and indulgent…but ultimately I don’t think it’d be a deal breaker of any kinds. I almost consider it like playtime…not really appropriate…but not really cheating. I would contrast this with an ongoing sexual relationship, where more than a steamy exchange of words took place over time…where feelings, flirting and sharing took place….THAT would be cheating…because that is checking out of a marriage. That is looking for that connection ELSEWHERE, it’s a conscious choice to connect with someone else rather than your partner. It’s not just “playing”…

    It is possible to be tempted, even possible to consider being unfaithful…but ultimately choose to NOT be unfaithful and choose to work it out. I don’t think that “thinking about it” is cheating…I’m not saying it’s a good situation…nor is it an easy one…Hell, I’m not even saying that it’s one that is resolvable because when feelings get hurt, it’s hard to resolve or reconcile them.

    But to answer your direct question…NO…cheating doesn’t always involve sex…but (for me) it involves a TRUE choice to check out rather than bad judgement.

    PS – I haven’t always thought this way.

  5. Neil February 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Having read wn, I am agreeing with him. This would not be a deal breaker for me either. Although I haven’t done it, I could see having some encounter with a woman online, and it would be like live porn, and if my wife did this once or twice, I would assume it was just an outlet, like reading a steamy book. If there was emotional connection, or if it happened in real life, it would be a different situation for me.

    I think online life is creating some gray-ish territory.

    • thordora February 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

      once or twice I could deal with. Continually, for years, to the point of shutting out the spouse, and to a degree, the family….I can’t do it, and I won’t even try to pretend it ISN’T cheating, and I so totally resent being told I’M the problem because I won’t condone it.

      Anyone know a cheap lawyer? :p

  6. wn February 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Neil..it’s ME Natalie…nhleblanc…from twitter…girl…she….:*)

  7. Hannah February 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    If the person has a life online – sexual, emotional, or otherwise – that negatively detracts from their actual life and relationships then yes, to me it’s cheating.

    If my husband looked at print porn every single night, and brushed me off in order to do so, I’d feel cheated on. Perception is key, I think. If one partner feels devalued by the actions of the other, then it really doesn’t matter what other people define as cheating.

  8. Aurelia February 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Depends on a hundred different things, but mostly intensity, and if it was a secret.

    Lots of people casually chat online about stuff. Flirtations, haha, whatever, but my husband pretty much always knows about this stuff. And I know about whatever websites he has ever looked at.

    If he was secretly talking to someone, or it was serious, or he was getting off on it? And I had no idea? For years on end? I’d kill him, totally.

  9. karrie February 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    What Aurelia said. Although, as someone who has been horrifically betrayed by “real, live girls” I’d probably suspect he did more. Or else really wanted to do more. J was leaving flirtatious comments on Craigslist, etc. long before he acted on anything, at least AFAIK. I was pissed, yes, but like others above, this alone was never a deal breaker.

    People are complicated too. I’ve had a long standing crush on a friend of mine. When I was happily married? It still tempted me, BUT I limited any interaction online or off. Because I knew the potential was there, and it just didn’t seem fair to anyone.

    In the case you speak of, I would lean towards immaturity & a need to escape real life with all of its messes & responsibilities. I don’t fault you at all for being angry. Whatever the behavior, we all have our snapping points.

  10. Titanium February 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Cheating is: not playing fair. Stealing answers…

    When someone you love gives gives their time and attention away like that, it’s not playing fair.

    They’re stealing answers to questions you’ll be left asking for the rest of your life.

    My ex-husband played that game of nuance “it’s just online.. it doesn’t count”. Notice, he is now an ex-husband.

    You don’t have to play the game. Decide what YOUR rules are, and call a foul a foul.

  11. Gabriel... February 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Your province must have a legal aid system… talk to them, they’ll sort out the cost of getting a lawyer. Definitely get one though… lawyers know stuff we don’t, they’re creepy but effective that way.

    What you’re describing is definitely cheating. It also sounds like an addiction. If a partner knows a behaviour is damaging, and insulting and screwing up their relationship, yet insists on continuing with that behaviour it’s fair game to call them on it…

    • thordora February 15, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

      Oh, but I’m crazy, remember? Wanting someone to love me-that makes me totally insane and irrational and a total bitch.

      (unlike that adorable baby of yours. TWO months? HOW!?!?)

      • Gabriel... February 16, 2010 at 12:52 am #

        …this might be a little early, but this is a good thing. We pick up a lot of baggage when we’re untreated… we surround ourselves with a lot of negative bullshit because we’re so blind while we’re caught up in trying to survive our days. It’s amazing the things that can happen to us, without our even being aware of what’s going on, while we’re untreated.

        The longer you’re better, the more likely you are to find the bullshit that’s been going on without your knowing — but you’re also better prepared to deal with it. It seems to me this has been a long time coming, and you’re strong enough to deal with this now.

        …Victor is two months old now. I have no idea how… it could be the Diet Pepsi.

  12. et February 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    If it has to be kept secret there’s something not right about it. If all parties know about it and are fine with it then it becomes totally consensual = okay.

  13. Natalie February 15, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Thor, in our Province there is unfortunately no legal aid for family stuff (only criminal….fucked, I know)….we’ll chat tomorrow.

    PS – I think I’d classify what you describe as cheating too….feels like I anyway.

    PS – he made that choice…you did not…try to stop blaming yourself for any of this. You are smart, compassionate, well read and funny (and not too hard on eyes either)….this sucks….but you deserve someone who is going to see all of this and more.

    • thordora February 15, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

      Yeah, we’ll chat. 🙂

      But don’t ever forget, as I’m constantly reminded. This IS all my fault. I’m such a horrid person, looking for a responsible, truthful adult, that I totally pushed him into the arms of multiple other women while he lied to me.

      Totally. I couldn’t find the truth from him if it was metal and I had a giant fucking magnet. But then, I’m not supposed to be angry about it either.

      Fucking right I’m angry. And I DO deserve better.

    • thordora February 16, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

      and you know, you keep saying nice things about me, I’m gonna develop even MORE of a girl crush. In which case, beer might not be a good idea 😉

      Scratch that. Beer is ALWAYS a good idea.

  14. Natalie February 15, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    Assholery knows no bounds my friend…..wish it weren’t so.

    • thordora February 16, 2010 at 7:32 am #

      Same here. I just wish I would have ended this a long time ago, as I had the urge to. That’s what I get for wanting to be loved so badly that I’ll accept anything as love.

    • Lgirl February 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

      I believe the correct term is Asshattery! 😉

  15. Jürgen Nation February 16, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    Not to me it doesn’t. Emotional cheating is sometimes worse than sexual. So, yeah. I agree with you.

  16. niobe February 16, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    It’s an interesting hypothetical question, but, if you want my honest opinion:

    If someone *admits* to (a) “falling in love with someone else” or having (b) “a relationship that’s sexual in nature online,” I wouldn’t spend a lot of time arguing with him (or myself) about whether that constituted cheating or not.

    Because, long sad experience shows that when someone confesses to (a) or (b), in fact, what’s really going on is that he’s cheating in every possible sense of the word.

  17. bromac February 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Yes, it’s cheating. He (hypothetical) cheated on your trust and your love and your family.

    I’m so sorry.

    And didn’t this exact issue come up several years ago?

    • thordora February 16, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

      It’s been an ongoing theme, and I was stupid enough to put up with it in the interests of trying to preserve a family. I went against my OWN moral codes, and I really should have put a foot down years ago.

      Lesson learned.

  18. ifbyyes February 17, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    Emotional infidelity is still infidelity.

  19. zuki February 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    I think a very good test of what is or isn’t cheating is whether or not you would feel comfortable admitting that you did it – if you absolutely have to lie then there is something wrong.

    Also, I would consider my own behaviour to be cheating if I did something that I would dump my partner for doing.

    As for him, I think I would consider he was cheating if he was intentionally doing something that he knew would hurt me.

  20. charmingbitch February 20, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    If you are doing something behind your partner’s back that you wouldn’t do in front of them, you KNOW you’re doing something wrong. I give NO CREDENCE to ”you can’t help who you fall in love with” because….bullshit. Falling in love doesn’t just ”happen”, it requires time, attention and effort and if you’re directing that much effort to someone outside of your relationship, you’re cheating. Cheating your partner, cheating your kids, cheating your family.

    You DO deserve better. God. Eff him right in the eye.

    • thordora February 20, 2010 at 12:53 am #

      yeah, but don’t forget. *I* must have done something to push him to it…


  21. charmingbitch February 20, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    Oh I do so love the justification. Because if you’re secure in knowing you hold no fault and did no wrong there is no reason to point out why or how someone else ”made you do it”. Asshole.

    I have been very open about the fact that my husband cheated on me. And I think I have taken the exact right amount of blame and guilt for ”making it happen” in as much as when it happened, I was absolutely being a horrible wife and I was a miserable person. My responsibility ends there though because no matter how rotten I was (and….I really, really was), he made the decision to cheat and take it outside of our marriage. I accept no blame for that and no, you didn’t push him into anything he wasn’t already doing or at least thinking about doing. Miserable people do miserable things and you can only be accountable for YOUR choices and behaviors. He is a grown ass man and he did what he wanted to do. Period.

    Gaaaaaaaah. I can’t wait till you’re about a year out from this, even six months and feeling the burdens lift from your shoulders and your spirit. I know he isn’t going to disappear from your life because of the girls but as his baggage sloooooowly leaves your heart, you are going to have an amazing life. BECAUSE YOU DESERVE NOTHING LESS.

  22. lili February 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Pinhead can blame anyone he wants but very simply:

    The second what you do online with anyone keeps you from your first priority-your family-there is a problem.

    If the connection is so emotional that the person is lying/hiding about it-there is a problem

    When denials start-there is a problem.

    When the finger pointing starts from the person that is acting out to the person that isn’t-there is a problem.

    Pinhead messed up, knows it, has a fragile, self-centered ego, and will not accept responsibility for his behaviors.

    If it was worth it for him to act out-let him own it-by getting shown the door to whoever he wants next. Then YOU can have a much better life and much more happiness.

    Then when that day comes(and it always does) when the better man steps up and asks you to walk the road with him-don’t even look back at Pinhead. Or better yet-look back,grin, and wave.

    Call legal aid and ask how fast can they make it happen.

  23. Marcy February 22, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    So many good responses.

    I especially liked wn / Natalie’s first comment, and these last ones by charmingbitch.

    “falling in love” is not a very precise term. I agree with wn / Natalie that infatuation is not entirely under our control, but that what we do with it is. I’ve had to learn how to work with people I’ve had crushes on (yes, I’m married) in such a way that I don’t feed the infatuation or act on it.

  24. Stephanie February 22, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    I’m woefully behind on my feed reading. But you know my thoughts anyway.

    Sex = meh, maybe. Intimacy = cheating. Fuck her all you want. Look into her eyes and tell her you love her? IMO, that’s a whole new ballgame.

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