Tuesday, April 14

What is the definition of cheating?

The traditional definition of cheating, or infidelity, is that one person in a committed relationship is physically involved with someone other than their spouse. Due to a number of factors, cheating behavior has been reclassified to include the traditional definition and a more contemporary definition, known as emotional infidelity. Emotional infidelity is defined as any infidelity that occurs through feeling or thought.

The primary difference between traditional cheating and emotional infidelity is actual, physical contact. Traditionally, cheating involves people meeting face to face, and then engaging in physical intimacy. With emotional infidelity, there may be a meeting, but it can occur on a cell phone or a computer. There may be physical activity involved, but it is conducted within the confines of separate locations; the people involved aren’t “actually” touching. Many of the people who are emotionally cheating don’t consider it to be infidelity. Their rationale is that, because there is no actual physical contact, the behavior can’t be considered cheating. Emotional infidelity is sometimes viewed as being harmless because it is more of a casual relationship than traditional cheating; however, the intimate nature of the communication, plus the emotional investment made by the people involved, places emotional infidelity on the same level as traditional cheating.

Lies break trust, and don’t think that just because you only tell part of the truth that this means you are not lying. Telling someone what they want to hear - or what you want them to hear, however founded in the truth, if it is not the complete truth, it is still a lie.

Cheating breaks trust. Cheating is the ultimate trust breaker - one it is difficult if not impossible to come back from, because not only was there a lie, but there was a total and complete abuse of faith and trust placed in a person.

Cheating usually comes with lies too - so not only does one cheat, but one lies about the cheating to cover up the indiscretion. Then the lies get bigger and the trust gets more abused - and this snowball effect comes into play - and it’s nearly impossible - if at all, to recover from cheating. No trust. No faith.

No chance to “allow without fear.”

If they have cheated - do you want to know? Is ignorance truly bliss this time? Can you ever look at the past the same if you realize that there was a break of trust there…will the memories ever be the same again? Would you want them to be the same?

When it comes right down to it - it’s not the cheating that hurts. It is the break of trust, the loss of faith, the changing of perspectives that destroys the heart and brings the anger. It is the realignment of perceptions that really stings the most, when you go back over everything that happened and wonder what was real and what was illusion. That’s what hurts.

There is nothing you did so wrong that warrants someone cheating on you. If the relationship is bad, if you did do something wrong, then the other person has the right to talk to you, to confront you, or if worse comes to worst, to leave you…but he or she doesn’t have the right to cheat.

Cheating is the cheater’s mistake - not yours. You did nothing wrong that deserve you having been cheated on. Even if you made mistakes in the relationship, even if you withheld intimacy, even if you and your partner fought constantly, there is nothing that justifies cheating - period.


And so we are back to the beginning all over again, back to the reason I am even writing this: Cheating?! Trust?! What is trust? To have confidence or faith in or to allow without fear.

The other party can leave, break it off, ask for a divorce, or do any number of other things in response to a relationship gone bad, but cheating is never an acceptable solution. So as the saying goes either “Piss or get off the pot” it is never a good thing to start a relationship, regardless of how it starts, if there you have trust issues. First, deal with the issues that you have or at least express them so that everyone can know what is going on. Define what you think “cheating” is to you, we all have different definitions, and we are all not going to put up with what the next man/woman might. Most importantly be expressive and honest with whatever is going on with you and whatever you have been through, it is the only way to be fair!

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Milly said...

Nice post Joi! I think hit the nail on this one

Tuotierugif >^..^<© said...

I completely agree, and what I tend to find is that the people who cheat always want to be forgiven but you know if they got cheated on all hell would break loose! lol

Anonymous said...

great post! i read an article in oprah's magazine a while back about emotional infidelity. while adultery is pretty black and white, emotional infidelity gets gray, though it's important to guard our relationships from it.


Thanks for the comments!