How to think about cheating

If one of my girlfriends came to me and told me her significant other was cheating on her, I would not tell her to leave her partner.  However, as a general rule that is exactly what I think should happen.  Over the last 10 or 15 years, I think it has become more acceptable for people to allow cheating as normal behavior in a relationship; especially women.  I think women in this country have been socialized to believe it is more important to maintain the relationship at the expense of their dignity and their requirements.  Women see cheating as an element of a modern relationship.

An exit should be the rule because trust can NEVER be gained again.  When infidelity occurs, trust is broken.  When you break trust you cannot learn to trust again.  Now, I do believe women can choose to ignore their feelings and decide they are going to live with the fact that the person cheated.  But who wants to live like this? Always on edge, always wondering.  Trust is not a learned behavior.  It is earned.  This concept of learning to trust again comes from therapy.  Lots of couples attend therapy as a way to salvage their relationships.  The design of therapy is to accept the behavior happened, figure out how both parties are at fault and then find a way to trust again.  It’s all bullshit.  The fault with the design is that no one should accept bad behavior, there is only one person at fault and the trust is gone.  Even if a woman finds a way to go on in the relationship, the trust they had before the cheating is dead.

Here is how I want women to begin to think about cheating: Your significant other put their penis, mouth, tongue in another persons vagina, butt, mouth,  as a choice.   They said the same words and performed the same acts, sexually,  they did to you.  Or, maybe they did something different to this new person, which might make it worse.  Their clothes did not fall off by accident and they did not just let it go too far.  They chose to have sex with another person, on purpose, instead of dealing with what ever they felt were the issues in their relationship.  I also want women to begin to put the blame for the mini destruction of their lives where it belongs.  I want them to start blaming their partners, not the other person.  I believe this notion is one of the reasons it is so easy for women to stay with someone who betrays them.  When the  other person is to blame, their partner is seen as a victim and pseudo forgiveness can occur.  When women think about cheating for what it is, they will be a lot less likely to stay in this kind of relationship.

I understand there are many reasons women choose to stay after cheating happens.  There are the children, fear of being alone, the need to win, money, career and even love.  These are not reasons; they are excuses.   These excuses make it easier for women to lie to themselves about their partner and give them a reason to continue in the relationship.  Along with all the above concepts, I want women to stop using their children, fear and their need to win as excuses to let people treat them like they do not matter.  I am sad to say, that I see these women everywhere; my neighborhood and television.  I do not want these women to be the role models for our daughters.  No woman with self esteem chooses to stay with someone who in effect has told them that they are not good enough.    But this is not how these women are portrayed.  They are seen as strong for enduring this tragedy.  Young women see this.  We need to start teaching young women that they should not accept this kind of behavior from anyone.  They need to know that choosing to stay is not strength, it is weakness.  We have a chance to change the mind set with our young girls and women.  I do not want young women to continue this view of cheating as a normal element of a relationship.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. iwillnotliveinvain
    Feb 13, 2017 @ 20:24:10

    Actually, I think modern women are a lot less likely to accept being cheated on. It is well known that in many previous eras that especially on the side of males cheating – it was considered socially acceptable and that a woman should let men be men. There was of course a huge problem with that in that it was in no way acceptable for women to do the same – a huge double standard. Women could lose everything, including their children if they cheated.
    While there may still be people that hold to old ideals such as that. I find that many more people in general have a distaste for male infidelity in more modern days – specifically in the last 40 – 50 years or so.
    I also believe that it is individual to the relationship as to when or if the cheated on decides to forgive or not. Sometimes the cheater is just a scum bag, sometimes there are other relationship issues at play – and while cheating may not be the ideal way to handle it – it often brings to light the seriousness of other things that may need to be worked out. Then it becomes a question of how important is the significant other to you and are you both willing to attempt working it out? If it is a one time mistake, then it may not have been worth throwing the partner to the side as a reaction. People are human, we’re tempted, we all make mistakes despite our better judgement. opinions on such personal parts of any given relationship need not be sweeping sentiments… it should be a decision specific to the couple – only they know what is right for them.


    • Cynt
      Feb 13, 2017 @ 21:27:36

      Cheating in a relationship is a private matter within a relationship and is none of my business or anyone’s business. The problem I have is it is still very acceptable in this society for a woman to continue a relationship with a man who cheats. Most men (not all) will almost always leave a woman if she cheats and that is accepted as well. I think we talk about this topic in society more than we did in the last 40 or 50 years, but modern women are not less likely to accept cheating. If a woman chooses to stay with a man who cheats on her, I do not judge that woman, but as a general rule, no one (man or woman) should feel disrespected in a relationship and if they do I want them to feel ok getting out.


      • iwillnotliveinvain
        Feb 13, 2017 @ 21:39:23

        I just feel that it was much more the way of, say in the turn of the century, if a woman found out her husband had a mistress (may have even been open with the fact he had one) if she got upset even her mother would tell her to chill out and just be a good wife… Nowadays it is more likely a woman will go nuts on him and kick him out. Not always, of course, and I’m not saying you’re wrong that it may still happen much more often than it should for reasons you listed in your post… I’m also not saying the past way of doing things was right and/or that anyone shouldn’t leave if they can’t get past a cheating episode it’s just think there are more complexities to such situations than merely one person cheated on the other. I also think that there are different ideas/ways that are generally handled for these kinds of situations as well depending on where one lives, how they grew up, and what social economic or religious group they fall into whether or not they automatically get enraged and kick someone out over cheating or accept it and stay together regardless of feelings. To be honest, I cheated on my husband 9 years ago. I’m not proud that I did and I was the one who confessed. I was the one who wanted out, in all honesty, and he decided that wasn’t what he wanted. Essentially, my cheating woke him up to the issues we had in our relationship and we have remained married and steadily fixed our marriage and gotten to a much much better place since.

  2. Cynt
    Feb 13, 2017 @ 21:54:51

    I can understand that. No one has to leave if they don’t think it is best for them, but I think there are way too many women who think they fix something that can’t be fixed. It doesn’t mean people who want to stay in their marriage and work out the issues they have are wrong. And congratulations to you and your husband. Thank you for this Rae. I can definitely see the other side of this and that always helps to expand a mind.


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