Cheating is something you do with your mind, not your body.

We should face it: our so-called modern society still enforces quite an infantile view of sex and relationships. Likewise, most of us are compelled to keep drawing lines between right and wrong, when sometimes it simply isn’t possible to make such clear-cut distinctions. Human behavior is a complex and multi-layered phenomenon, and we should keep ourselves from rationalizing too much, as well as over simplifying. Otherwise, we’ll just end up confusing ourselves and wallowing in unnecessary suffering.

For example, when a man engages a sexual encounter with another person besides his spouse, he’s committing adultery – right? So, this man is a big horrible cheater and his wife is an unfortunate victim, isn’t that so? Well, not necessarily. Not in my book, at least. First and foremost, we should remember that a couple is a essentially combination of two separate wills. For this reason, I believe it’s inaccurate to lay the blame for something on just one of the members of the couple.

Besides, we should remember that sex is something we do with our body, whereas marriage and love is something that calls for the whole of our being: of which sex is only a tiny fraction.

So that guy cheated on his relationship. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? All the while, we should keep in mind that something never comes out of nothing. That goes to say, if someone feels compelled to engage carnal affairs with someone other than his spouse, there are likely underlying reasons which thrust him in that direction. Sure, that person may simply be a philanderer; but he may also be a decent guy who just happens to be frustrated with the lack of sexual response or interest from his wife. Now, let’s look at things from the reverse perspective:

A woman who neglects her husband may be doing so for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s just a phase where she doesn’t feel as interested in sex. Maybe she really is losing interest in her husband. Maybe she’s already cheating on him as well. Whatever the actual reason may be, it’s important to realize how the behavior of a member in a couple influences the actions and reactions of the other person. Human beings are intricate and complex creatures, and oftentimes the very person isn’t quite sure why he or she behaves in a certain way. Do you know why is that?

Because we keep hiding ourselves from others – especially the people we love the most. That’s something we do because we’re terrified we don’t conform to their expectations.

Further, here’s some food for thought: is a marriage defined merely as the act of committing oneself sexually to another person? Is sex really the single most important thing in a marriage, to the point where so many marriages keep faltering and possibly failing when adultery happens? It’s sad to see so many promising relationships get trashed just because some sexual mishaps happened. Because we’re conditioned with this paranoia (can’t find a better word) that strict monogamy is the “right” thing, the natural thing to do. It’s really disturbing to see the part (sex) take over and disrupt the whole (marriage)… all too easily.

In my opinion, cheating isn’t what you do when you engage sexual activities or take interest in another person without the knowledge of your spouse. Cheating is what happens when you fail to be honest and take responsibility for your actions. The problem is that so many people fail to be truthful because of the widespread infantile views on sexuality! It’s almost as if having sex outside of a relationship is the most terrible sin a committed person can make. Well, I really don’t see things that way:

The most terrible sin a committed person  can make is hiding thoughts / feelings / actions from his life partner.

Coincidentally, why do people go to such great lenghts to hide their extra-marital sexual impulses and desires? Well, because the “right” thing to do is supressing such desires, for the sake of holy matrimony. And that’s why so many marriages tend to fail, nowadays: people are just going crazy from all the pressure they’re subject to, and eventually they make a mistake. And then they do everything they can to hide their mistake, and they end up making things worse. They end up making their partner feel like they’re REALLY getting cheated on.

Most people simply can’t bring themselves to realizing this, but… having an affair can actually be a way of saving a marriage! A way of venting our sexual frustrations. If we didn’t place such a terrible emphasis on monogamist sex, if only we could be more light-hearted about the idea of making casual sexual explorations outside our marriages… there really wouldn’t be so much reason for drama. And there would be less infidelity, for sure. And even that would no longer be infidelity. After all, it’s only cheating when your wife doesn’t know about it. Or at least, it SHOULD be so.

One Response to “Cheating is something you do with your mind, not your body.”

  1. That Guy says:

    Smitten! Old article, but I’m really glad I came across this, especially this quote:
    “cheating isn’t what you do when you engage sexual activities or take interest in another person without the knowledge of your spouse. Cheating is what happens when you fail to be honest and take responsibility for your actions. ”

    Allow me to share a little history of my own. I’m very good friends with an ex. We dated in high school, split up in college (but stayed pretty emotionally attached), and have been on and off ever since. Essentially it was the stress of education and the distance between us that kept us from truly being together.
    I have one rule when it comes to this girl: I never lie to her. No matter how much trouble it gets me in, I can’t stand to hide anything from her. About a year ago, I had a one nighter with an acquaintance of mine. She was single and so was I. When my ex asked me if anything had happened, of course I told her. She was devastated, despite the fact that she and I were not together. After a long period of silence and her dating someone else, my ex and I started to get comfortable with one another again. Close friends, occasional sex, all is well and happy.
    Recently, I made what I feel was the *mistake* of having a one night stand with someone that my ex is *really* not fond of. Hate is a good word in this case. Remembering the previous experience, AND realizing that I what I did was both wrong and hurtful to my ex, I called her (she was not around to talk to), took responsibility for what I had done, and apologized to her sincerely. This time around, I’ve been entirely and immediately excommunicated: blocked and banned on social sites, phone calls and texts blocked, emails blocked, and an online rant (which was removed by her a few hours after posting) about the varying degrees of which I was a bastard and and asshole and full of shit. The. Works.

    Knowing this, here’s what I pose to you: Yes, I was completely wrong to have engaged in anything with this person whom my ex had something against. After doing so however, I realized it was wrong and took responsibility for it and owned up to it. Is this an immature and childish response on my ex’s part? Does she not see a difference between love and sex? Or maybe I’m nuts, and this is totally a normal response?

    I attempted to explain that I would not have owned up to her about it if her feelings weren’t incredibly important to me, but she dismissed it as “bullshit.”

    At any rate, she’s a person who needs her space and a lot of chill out time to normalize. I know her way too well to go and pester her about it right now.

    Thanks for letting me make this blog-post of a comment, and I hope you’ve got some insight on my life-devoid-of-best-friend.

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