Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cheating Scumbag?

It was a discussion I had with a friend about the intricate workings of a relationship, that got me thinking about this again. Like the inside of a watch, it takes a complicated system, to keep the hands turning. If one part of that system fails, well like a house of cards, it can come tumbling down. So many of the rules of a relationship are unspoken, most work under the assumption, that the normal socially acceptable standards of love, apply to their union. I have come to this conclusion, not from having many relationships of my own, but of watching the couples around me.

Many people disagree with my outlook on cheating, I have to use the word cheating to make my point a little more simpler and to avoid confusion. I have been guilty of cheating in the past, guilty is a word I use but not something I really felt. I was guilty in the eyes and standards of social norms.

For most people, once a relationship becomes serious, there is usually a discussion of exclusivity  That person becomes yours and yours only. But sometimes, it just doesn't work out that way. Maybe its a text message on a phone, or an email in an inbox, or worse, walking in and seeing it with your eyes. This usually spells the end of a relationship, when someone betrays the bed and home which you have made together.

But what if I was to tell you that love and fidelity were not mutually exclusive. What If I said,  you could have one without the other. In the same way, you can have monogamy without really being in love. Separating the act from the person, can go along way in making sure your union lasts.

The first time I ever 'cheated' was when I stared to really think about this. My first real relationship almost came to an end when I on a wild night out, which last almost a full 24 hours, alcohol and speed and a bathhouse. When I sat down and told him, a few days later, I was understandably nervous. I wouldn't have told him at all, had it not been for the fact that some of his friends had already heard I had gone to a sauna. I felt it would be much better if it came from me. I had thought long and hard about why I had done it and what it meant for our relationship. At the time I thought I loved him and that hadn't changed and after much supposed soul searching, I found the answer to be rather mundane. I was simply horny, it was there and it was convenient. I didn't say this to him of course and I went through the motions of telling him how sorry I was and that it would never happen again. I assessed what it might have meant again when the relationship ended and couldn't really give myself a different answer.

A few months after the relationship came to a much relieving end, I met a couple. The couple propositioned me for a threesome and as I got to know them and saw they had a pretty strong bond, I was enthralled about what they told me. How they had come to have such a unique understanding. It was the first time I ever came across an open relationship, in the flesh and working so well. 'We are not naive, we know that even though we love each other very much, that both of us will look outside the home for sexual gratification and that is okay, as long as both of us know, that it is just sex'.

The concept seemed so remarkable to me but at the same time, it made so much sense. Since then, my outlook on what most people would call cheating has been very different from those of my peers. Explaining this to people who have not agreed with me in the past, has always been frustrating and I have reached a point now, where I don't bother. I have not yet had the opportunity to explore this with another partner but ideally it is something they would need to be at least open to discussing as our relationship developed.

It has also made me think about what I would consider to be 'cheated on'. If someone I loved, slept with someone else, would I feel betrayed. No, I don't think so. As long as they were upfront and honest about it, careful about my health then I would be able to deal with that. But what if they developed feelings for someone else? That makes the situation understandably trickier.

But all of this is just thoery, as I have not put it into practice. It could all go out the window, if I met the one and he made me want him and only him.


mistress maddie said...

I think I agree with most of what you said, and i have the same views as well. Each relationship is different. I have been in a exculsive one, a casual one and was also in a tyrid threesome that lasted two years. I have to say I enjoyed them all! Althought I do like to be a little independant and I go enjoy a good threesome from time to time.

Harper's Keeper said...

Most long term couples I know have visited this issue more than once. Please are all over the place in terms what is considered "cheating" and the definition in year 10 or 15 of their relationship may or may not be the same definition they agreed on in year 1 or year 5.

Robin said...

I think that this is a subject that is different for everyone. One thing must hold true for it to work: You and your partner must absolutely agree on whatever you decide. And, if you do decide to have an open relationship, it has to be just that - open. That system breaks down and becomes cheating when the other person begins to have "intimacy" with another person that they don't have with you. Then it isn't about sex. It is about MUCH more. And it isn't remotely open.

Most people I know who have objected to cheating have always had underlying issues that went along with the cheating. Most people lie about the cheating. So there is lying, which I think is worse than the cheating, added to the cheating. And usually they went looking for something more than sex in the first place. It often takes a long time (if ever) for someone to be honest about what that THING actually is.

Bottom line: relationships are complicated. ::like you didn't know that::

naturgesetz said...

If it's agreed to be exclusive, then going with anybody else is cheating. If it isn't exclusive, isn't the relationship just friends with benefits?

Mind Of Mine said...

Maddie - I find the idea of a third person relationship, so intriguing, having one person to fulfill the needs that the other can't and vice versa. It is something I would consider.

Harpers - Yes, I most certainly agree! Relationships change and evolve and I think the reason most fail, is because people don't evolve with them.

Robin - Yes, I whole heartedly agree. Both parties need to be completely honest and willing, or else it just eventually breaks down.

However, being a dude, I have to disagree with 'cheating sometimes being more than sex'. It might be this way for women, but mostly, as men, we are just horny and the other person is there.

Naturgetz, I don't think you are being naive but if you love someone, more than a friend, in the same way as a lover. You have set up a home, a marriage, a solid union. Do you think that is just friendship. If both people decide that they want to explore other sexual needs, does that automatically demote that relationship to a friendship.

The Gal Herself said...

Using the last century's female icons as examples, the question is: Would you rather be Princess Diana or Jackie Kennedy? Would you rather have your husband (HRH) in love with one other woman or having lots of meaningless sex with countless women, a la JFK? If I had to choose, I'd be Jackie. Which I guess means that on some deep, bedrock level I agree with your post.

But I wouldn't like it.

It would undermine my sense of desirability, security and intimacy.

Which is not to say that I haven't flirted (and more) with men I have no business flirting with because I know they're married or involved. So I don't want to sound too sanctimonious here. I understand how compelling and seductive people can be. I'm not judging.

But I wonder about the emotional and psychological toll the approach you describe takes over the long haul of a life.

Paula said...

Interesting! I don't even know what to say

Banker Chick said...

I have been exclusive for 40 some years, I say exclusive since I think that is a better word than faithful. I am sort of with the Gal herself on this.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings