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Cheating


Clio
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Fair enough but imo there are so many different scenarios and nuances, not always so black and white; for example, after around five or so years, my mom and dad had a loveless marriage. Witnessing it growing up, it was actually quite abusive, my mom being the abuser. To not only my dad but to me and my brothers as well.

 

My mom didn't want divorce as she was a strict Catholic, so against her religion, plus she thought divorcing would be detrimental to us (myself and my brothers). When in actuality it would have been better for us had they divorced, as witnessing the dysfunction left a strong negative mark on me and my brothers.

 

In addition, we lived in an upper middle class area of New York, and socially, she did not want to be viewed as a "divorced" woman, whom were frowned upon. A value I do NOT share by the way, but that was my mom.

 

Anyway, they mutually decide that it was OK for my dad to see other women as long as he stayed. I even met some of them - he tried to hide the fact they were his "girlfriends," describing them as friends, but I was too perceptive for that, I knew.

 

So no my mom was certainly NOT weak, not in any way, shape or form, she was an abuser, and a VERY strong woman. And was actually the one who suggested to my dad he see other women, again as long as he didn't leave. Yeah pretty screwed up, I know.

 

As I said earlier, cheating as defined is a form of deceit, which there was none of, it was all out in the open.

 

So again I question. My dad has passed now, so has my mom, my dad and I grew quite close in his last years (he died after a bad fall in 2014), and while growing up he was an awesome dad, a very awesome human being, but yet I still struggle with this!

 

I appreciate your thoughts though, I for one am so glad you brought this topic to light, thank you for that!

 

I would say that once they struck this agreement there was no more cheating—more of the conservative version of the liberal open marriage. I'm not even sure if I'd call this "screwed up." Your mother's value system just put certain things—nuclear family, religion, social perception—above fidelity.

 

Would you say she was happy in this arrangement? Was your father?

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Per the rational/irrational mind theory, I think one thing that hasn't been said here is that people don't always cheat in pursuit of pleasure, but often the opposite: to reinforce and prove "right" some deeply internalized idea—of being "bad," of being "trash," of being "worthless." Most of us reckon with those feelings here and there—some, of course, more than others, to the point where it too can become a kind of "temporary insanity."

 

That's not an excuse, just as being high on the drug of infatuation isn't an excuse. Still a choice, and a very selfish one. But I do think it's just worth understanding that cheating is often far more complicated than "this feels good, now, so I'm doing it." The drug of unresolved self-loathing, in other words, is just as powerful as the drug of hormones and infatuation. Often stronger, for many.

 

Imo, that's an excellent point to take into consideration regarding what may be one of the hidden drivers behind cheating.

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@Katrina, when people are in mutual open agreement, it's not cheating. The whole point of cheating is deceit. Cheating by and large is a form of abuse in a relationship. An imbalance of power where the cheater knows something, holds something over their SO that the SO is unaware of, thus the cheater feels a sense of power and superiority over that person. It's about as disordered as it gets.

 

As for all the books and articles trying to absolve cheaters, honestly it's just nuts. Everyone has a chance to cheat daily. Most of us simply have the basic self control not to engage in that. The whole "insanity" theory is just so absurd it's beneath contempt and mostly it's preached by those who are disordered themselves. How "nice" of an excuse is that - I cheated because...temporary insanity.....ugh...... It's almost comical. How about married man/woman starts flirting with you or sharing their marriage problems with you inappropriately, STOP. That's it. That simple. Long before the "it just happened" bs, long before the "but I fell in love"........it's a long road between "hello" to we are now fck'ing each other and I don't care that they are married or in a relationship.....because my feelings.....and you know insanity.....lol....can't even type that without laughing at the absurdity.

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I would say that once they struck this agreement there was no more cheating—more of the conservative version of the liberal open marriage. I'm not even sure if I'd call this "screwed up." Your mother's value system just put certain things—nuclear family, religion, social perception—above fidelity.

 

Would you say she was happy in this arrangement? Was your father?

 

Ironically my mom was for the reasons you gave, but my dad was NOT, he wanted a divorce!

 

But since she wouldn't, he made the best of a very bad situation, had affairs, until he met the love of his life (my step mom) divorced my mom (she finally agreed to it), and married her once the divorce became final.

 

Looking back on those years, it was one big toxic dysfunctional mess, but as long as my dad didn't leave, upsetting my mom's social status mostly, she was happy.

 

I would call that quite screwed up actually so I'll have to disagree with you there.

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Imo, that's an excellent point to take into consideration regarding what may be one of the hidden drivers behind cheating.

 

Not to get too heavy, but I also think self-loathing (the human capacity for it) is the hidden driver behind a lot of moral codes. That's not aimed at you—at all—but just an observation.

 

An argument can be made that religion, which is essentially a human invention created to cope with existing and the cornerstone for many moral codes, is, if not the product of self-loathing, at least popular due to it. The basic morals of most religions are essentially the same—be decent—but the mode of enforcement is to stir those waters of self-loathing and fear that our big human brains create.

 

So, just because I love chats like this, you can make an interesting argument where both the frustratingly lax attitude of your friend and the red-faced evangelist at the pulpit are both examples of people displaying, somewhat sideways, a capacity to sin inside them.

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I agree with your "self-loathing and obsessing about moral codes being connected" comment. However, I still feel that moral codes about being decent (I am referring to the positive sense of "decent" i.e. being fair and considerate) are valuable and not to be dismissed as a product of religion or self-loathing. Cheating is nor fair nor considerate and imo that should be motivation enough to refrain from enabling it.

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This is not always the case. Interestingly enough though, I know of two such cases, yet I do believe that the "victims" (both were women wildly pursued by married men) did make an informed choice. They both knew that this person was married hence, they had first hand evidence of his lack of integrity. If one knowingly enables a cheater at any point, imo, they lose the right to be called a "victim".

 

Weakened victim.

 

Time shields and props us up. We forget our low, desperate times in our lives.

 

 

Btw: Everything is a choice. Just eating meat can quickly get you thrown into a over-simplified bucket.

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