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Chit Chat

Cheaters

pinkcow13pinkcow13
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edited April 20 in Chit Chat
I think there was a similar thread on this topic a few months ago, but here goes. My friend broke off her engagement for the 3rd time. She finally confessed to her FI that there were other men. He called one of them up and the guys told him "I smashed your girl while she was wearing the ring." Horrible. 

At first I was afraid for my friend because they live together, and I watch a lot of crazy things on TV. But, she started shifting the blame on him, which annoyed me, being that I know the whole story (at least what she tells me).

This whole situation gets me thinking, though. FI has not given me any reason to doubt him. But, at one point my friend was happy. I'm sure her FI did not imagine there was someone else in the pic, let alone 3 other individuals. It just makes me think, what if?

And I think... why do people cheat? In my friends case, she was not happy for months. She did not want to be engaged. She wanted her cake, and she waned to eat it too. If you are so unhappy, why cheat??? And maybe I'm wrong about this, but why tell your partner that you cheated if you know for a fact that you are leaving them?? 

I realize their situation is not  my business but I cant help and think of it in personal terms. I could not imagine putting FI through that crap, and vice versa. Why do people do it? If you aren't happy, why not leave your partner?? It just makes me wonder, what makes people cheat??

edit: grammar
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Re: Cheaters

  • People cheat because they're scared: scared of being alone, scared of commitment, scared of being happy, scared of letting someone down.

    Breaking up with someone is scary, and being on your own is scary.

    Generally, though, I don't think that normal and emotionally healthy people who understand how to deal properly with their feelings cheat. So I don't think that you have to worry about your partner(s) cheating necessarily. Just trust that you picked a decent partner who values honesty and openness.
    doeydo
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited April 20
    @jennycolada - I think those are excellent points you brought up. My friend did say she is a scared of being on her own, so that may be a huge part of it. And it makes sense - when you cheat, for the most part, you think you have the next person lined up. Thing is, unless the other person is oblivious, they know that you are with someone and are not looking at you seriously. It's a tricky situation, and someone ( usually the cheater) ends up hurt. That's how I look at it, I guess.
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  • From what I understand, there's a lot of people who are actually happy in their relationship and still cheat.  When they've interviewed hookers before, the women say that their clients go on and on about how great their wives are.

    Unhappiness in a relationship certainly can lead to cheating, and I agree it's usually the case where the person is too afraid or insecure to just leave the person.  BUT I also think some people are perfectly content with their spouse and want to be with that person, but they also want something else on the side.  Something "different".  It's just a very selfish mindset.  I can't pretend to understand it.
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  • From what I understand, there's a lot of people who are actually happy in their relationship and still cheat.  When they've interviewed hookers before, the women say that their clients go on and on about how great their wives are.

    Unhappiness in a relationship certainly can lead to cheating, and I agree it's usually the case where the person is too afraid or insecure to just leave the person.  BUT I also think some people are perfectly content with their spouse and want to be with that person, but they also want something else on the side.  Something "different".  It's just a very selfish mindset.  I can't pretend to understand it.
    This totally makes sense and makes it even worse. Don't they say that monogamy is not natural? I also cannot pretend to understand it. Idk why this situation with my friend frustrates me so much .
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  • I didn't live with my DH before our marriage.  My daughter didn't live with her DH, either, until after the marriage,  This has nothing to do with pre-marital sex.
    Once the commitment of marriage was made, there is no way I would have cheated.  What for?  I had love, security, friendship and respect.  What else is needed?
    They all have penises.
    They all want to do the same thing with them.
    One isn't better than another.
    I think cheating has more to do with emotional insecurity than sex.
  • pinkcow13 said:
    From what I understand, there's a lot of people who are actually happy in their relationship and still cheat.  When they've interviewed hookers before, the women say that their clients go on and on about how great their wives are.

    Unhappiness in a relationship certainly can lead to cheating, and I agree it's usually the case where the person is too afraid or insecure to just leave the person.  BUT I also think some people are perfectly content with their spouse and want to be with that person, but they also want something else on the side.  Something "different".  It's just a very selfish mindset.  I can't pretend to understand it.
    This totally makes sense and makes it even worse. Don't they say that monogamy is not natural? I also cannot pretend to understand it. Idk why this situation with my friend frustrates me so much .
    Yes, if you compare us just to regular mammals, monogamy is not natural, but I also reject that idea that humans are just like any other mammal.  Humans are capable of free will, moral decision making, controlling their passions, and abstract thought.  

    I think monogamy is perfectly natural, as in, fitting to the human condition and fulfillment, but we humans like to do a lot of things that are not fitting to our condition or fulfilling to us.  

    I do think part of it is this mentality that love is always going to be this thrilling exciting thing.  And when we get comfortable with someone and that excitement wears off, we worry we've "fallen out of love" and must go seeking that feeling with someone else.  I'm not saying leaving your mate or divorce is never justified or anything like that, but I'm talking about people who become serial spouses who just hop from person to person, never satisfied.
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    TexasBride2014Vivandiere8
  • larrygagalarrygaga
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    edited April 20
    I never thought FI would ever cheat on me. He's a very kind and trustworthy guy. He can't even lie properly about stupid little things. I told him before that if he doesn't want me anymore he needs to break-up with me, not cheat. 

    Cheating is for losers and cowards. If any of you ladies in here have cheated, shame on you. 

    I go with the theory that once a cheater always a cheater. If someone is cheating with you, why would you pursue that relationship further? They'll just cheat again.
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  • FiancBFiancB
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    CMGragain said:
    I didn't live with my DH before our marriage.  My daughter didn't live with her DH, either, until after the marriage,  This has nothing to do with pre-marital sex.
    Once the commitment of marriage was made, there is no way I would have cheated.  What for?  I had love, security, friendship and respect.  What else is needed?
    They all have penises.
    They all want to do the same thing with them.
    One isn't better than another.
    I think cheating has more to do with emotional insecurity than sex.
    Yes, this is what I don't get. My ex had a lot of worry about only ever having sex with one person. Like really? Sex isn't that hard, lol. Sex with one person is not all that different from another. I also think it's emotional, and it's almost always someone that's checked out of the relationship but won't initiate a breakup for whatever reason. 

    Some people act like they can't help it though. I don't know if I buy the idea of sex addiction, but some people just cheat over and over. FI has a friend whose dad was caught bringing hookers to the house. His wife gave him a second and maybe even third chance and he did it again and now the whole family has absolutely nothing to do with him, moved across the country and everything. I just can't fathom how people feel it's worth it.
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  • larrygaga said:
    I never thought FI would ever cheat on me. He's a very kind and trustworthy guy. He can't even lie properly about stupid little things. I told him before that if he doesn't want me anymore he needs to break-up with me, not cheat. 

    Cheating is for losers and cowards. If any of you ladies in here have cheated, shame on you. 

    I go with the theory that once a cheater always a cheater. If someone is cheating with you, why would you pursue that relationship further? They'll just cheat again.
    This bothers me too.  I don't know that I'd say "once a cheater always a cheater", because I (maybe naively) believe that people CAN change (but it takes a lot of work).  

    But it does bother me how a person will cheat on their spouse with another, and then they get married or something, and it's like, "aren't you worried that he/she will cheat on you like they did their spouse?"  Maybe it was just a "one time thing", but it's more likely that this person doesn't fully understand what it means to be faithful, and you're not going to make the difference.

    But people delude themselves.  Like you'll hear women mistresses say, "But he LOVES ME... he didn't love his wife."  Well, sure, maybe not anymore, but at one point he was probably just as madly in love with her as he is now with you.  What happens when that loves fades?  He'll cheat on you too.
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    larrygaga
  • I could be wrong because all people handle emotions differently. I think if you're willing to cheat you really don't love the person you're with. So those who cheat and then beg their s/o to forgive them and stay with them because they love them so much, I call bs.

    FI & I have had ups and downs for sure. I've been so mad at him I couldn't see straight. I have absolutely no interest in other men. Yeah I like eye candy like Luke Bryan. I've had guys hit on me and try to get me to cheat several times throughout our 7 year relationship. I've never entertained the thought for even a second. I can't imagine being intimate with anyone else.

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  • Some people are just horrible monsters who don't care about other people's feelings. Someone who was once a close friend of mine dated a guy for about 3 years. He was absolutely obsessed with her and would do anything she asked. She made him pay for so much and would make him feel like shit if he didn't. She would ask him to do so many unreasonable things. She cheated on him the ENTIRE time. So I'm not going to say its because she was scared of being alone, or had commitment or self esteem issues. I'm going to say it's because she's a completely greedy and selfish human being and knew he would take care of everything she needed while she got her sexual needs filled somewhere else. I did eventually tell him, but he was too brainwashed to believe me. I haven't talked to her since. I know they did eventually break up for good.

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  • I've known some people who cheat specifically to end relationships. Usually it's because they aren't strong enough to say they aren't happy or want to leave, so it forces the other person to do it. At least one person I know cheated as a means to get out of an abusive relationship. She was lucky that it didn't escalate (as in, the guy eventually left her alone and she's still alive) after that. 
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    Anniversary
  • Yup I totally agree with everyone here. I guess it really upsets me what happened with my friend... Maybe because she told me, so I knew everything that was going on.

    I know my friends ex and he is a wonderful guy, and I really hate that he's going through this, maybe that's what bothers me. It just pisses me off. If you are not happy, then leave. Why cheat? Just leave. To me, cheating is for cowards. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
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    wajohnson09
  • My ex cheated. In his case, it was a desperate attempt to gain attention, approval, and stroke his own ego. His self image was so low that he would do anything to have someone tell him they liked him, loved him, that he was nice, good in bed, etc. Anything for anything good. Yet, it was never enough, not from me or from anyone else. The more he heard it, the more he wanted, and the more people (women) he'd seek it from. It never actually did anything to make him feel better permanently, though, but it did make him think he could get away with it.  If he got caught, it made him so upset that he'd go find someone else to hear it from. He grew up in a verbally and emotionally abusive family, though, and refused professional help for it.
  • I was the cheater in a previous relationship. We were long-distance (my was in school 1,800 miles away) and I was just too young to really handle it well. I was a poor college kid who needed to eat, so I went out on a lot of dates, got a lot of free dinners, and hooked up with a lot of hot guys. I can't say I would do things differently if I were given the chance to do it over. It was who I was back then. In the 12+ years FI and I have been together, I haven't so much as looked at another man and doubt I ever will.
    Seriously, why the FUCK are you stalking me?! You need to get a life and stop being obsessed with me.
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  • My grandfather and I are not close. I called him a few weeks ago for his birthday and he launched into an explanation of why he left my grandmother after 35 years of marriage. He was under the impression that no one ever gave me the "real story." I'm close with my grandmother and don't remember them together (they've been divorced almost 30 years)- but she didn't want my sister and I to know the details because she wanted us to have a relationship with our grandfather. She's shared more over the years (and uncles have spilled the beans) - but it was only as an adult that I've had any clue into what really happened.

    Apparently he started banging a woman from work. She'd been married 4 times, had a bunch of kids, and decided he was amazing. According to my grandfather, as soon as he met her, he realized something was missing and decided to leave. Then he changed his mind. Then he decided to tell my grandmother how to change so that she could give him what he wanted (he wasn't specific). This went on over 18 months as he wavered on what he wanted. It was awful hearing him tell me how he was doing her a favor by telling her how she fell short, etc.

    He left my grandmother, remarried the bitch, moved across the country, and stayed with her until she died 18 years later. She used all of his money, destroyed his friendships, and alienated him from his family. He mentioned trying to get back with my grandmother while his second wife was still alive but I'm not sure I believe him. Now that he's old (93), alone, and completely destitute, he's been trying to rekindle things with our family- and my grandmother! He's coming to town this week (he visits our shared hometown when his friend also happens to be in town) and has asked my grandmother out, yet again!

    What I learned is that sometimes people cheat for the excitement. They don't think about the consequences of their actions- for anyone.

    Along those lines, I got cheated on once, when I was younger. He just thought he could have fun without consequences. He was just too stupid to cover his tracks!
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • At the risk of TMI: I cheated a lot in high school: I was immature and didn't know what I wanted and didn't know enough to realize that I could make other choices to make me happy (and to not make others unhappy).

    In college and my 20s, I did open relationships and then poly relationships. It was exactly what I needed. Despite my fear in my high school relationships, I was able to be totally open and honest with my partners. It was great for me.

    I'm engaged now to awesome Fi. He knows all my past and, while we're monogamous now, he understands that we have a whole world to explore together.
    shaylagirl
  • mbross3mbross3
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    edited April 21
    I honestly do not believe that monogamous relationships are for everyone. I think monogamy works for some people/couples, but that everyone's different and there's no "natural" state for people to be in. Meaning I don't think monogamy is "natural" but I don't think it's "unnatural" either, I think it's something our society has developed and that it happens to work for people (maybe the majority). People can feel like monogamy is natural for them, or they can feel that polygamy is natural, or that being single is natural for them. Also maybe cheating stems from the fact that you just haven't found a person that you really want to be monogamous with, or maybe you're at a point in your life where monogamy just isn't for you.

    I am in a monogamous relationship now, but monogamous relationships are definitely in the minority in my own experience. My last relationship was an open relationship. I was clear from the very beginning with Ex that I did not want a monogamous relationship and that I was seeing other people. At first Ex seemed fine with it, but eventually it became clear that Ex was not fine with it and became angry and possessive. Ex called me a cheater in anger, but in reality, I never lied about seeing other people and was clear from the beginning what type of relationship I wanted and I don't consider that to be cheating. 

    To a certain extent I feel like cheating stems from people's inability to communicate about what they want. If people compromise too much on what they want--they'll end up unhappy and looking for outlets for that unhappiness. 

    ETA: Also, monogamy is not only accepted as the norm in our society, but people are pressured to have this type of relationship, which I think also contributes to cheating/unhappiness in relationships (for people who may not feel like they actually want a relationship, but are told constantly through society and the media that monogamous relationships are the path to happily ever after).
    JennyColadalyndausviKeptInStitcheschibiyui
  • I will admit that I cheated on my ex-boyfriend. I had fallen out of love with him and was very unhappy. However, he was my best friend in the whole world and the idea of breaking up with him and hurting him was unbearable. Being scared like a PP said totally hits the nail on the head. It was an awful thing to do and I still feel guilty about it all these years later. 

    I eventually worked up the nerve to end it. It was a horrible break up. However, I never told him that I cheated on him. 
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  • Oh cheating...*sigh*

    I honestly don't believe there is a "one-size-fits-all" reason for it. I literally have never cheated. Not even kissed another boy when I was a teenager while I had a "boyfriend." 

    BUT...I don't sit on the "once a cheater always a cheater" side. FI has cheated on a few of his insignificant others. His ex also mothered 2 children with him who ended up not being his. His high school girlfriend cheated with his best friend. His mother and father ended over infidelity, and his mother has cheated on his step dad (who knows, and they are still married). Needless to say - he's seen a lot of cheating in his life. I don't for a second worry about him being unfaithful. Our relationship is not like his previous ones.

    And I'm with @ lyndausvi - I know some wonderful married couples who are the result of infidelity. Their previous indiscretions with their past spouses makes me in no way think they would do the same to each other. 
  • emmyg65emmyg65
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    Relevant post from Carolyn Hax's advice chat on Friday. I agree with all of that. Also, full disclosure: I have cheated before, and my rationale breaks down pretty much to what CH said. I was too immature to see the damage that my choices were making, and I had poor impulse control. I had to do a lot of work to become a better partner.



    Q.

    "CHEATED ON ME DURING OUR FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE"

    Why do people do that?? Carolyn, do you have any insight into this behavior? I just do not understand how people can go from wanting to marry someone to going through with that and then so quickly break the vows they took! Can we throw all the people who behave this way into a room together so they have only each other to be with? Please?
    A.
    CAROLYN HAX :

    I do understand, actually, and I think you probably can, too, if you walk ... over here ... and look at it from this angle:

    I heard recently on NPR (and if I had an hour I would dig it out ... but I don't ... anyone?) a counterpoint to the idea that we're all born innocent. What the guy said amounted to this: We're actually born feral, and our parents and society train us out of that, and civilize us to be "good," vs the opposite, which is much more widely accepted (that babies are innocent and then people turn bad as they grow up). Then he posited that the scariest/most violent/most dangerous person is a 2-year-old who has made it to adulthood without having the impulses of a 2-year-old civilized out of him.

    I like this. Makes so much sense to me.

    And, it explains this person cheating in a brand new marriage: Think of her as an immature, not-fully-raised/civilized, still-somewhat-feral human: She wants what she wants and she goes and gets it. She gets the warmth and stability of love and a home, not to mention the societal acceptance of checking the marriage box, and in addition she gets the illicit thrill of sex outside her marriage. She's a toddler in an adult body, wanting what she wants without full appreciation for or empathy for what her preferences cost someone else. 

    Even before I heard Mr. NPR man make that observation, I had found it useful to see some people's choices through the lens of human as feral creature, particularly those who are immature thanks to age or dysfunctional childhood. I also don't say this from a place of sitting in judgment, since I've recognized some of my own choices as fitting that description. I just think sometimes we give ourselves and others credit for being fully civilized--especially when trying to read the meaning in people's actions--when often there's a lot of animal talking.

    FiancB
  • My ex cheated. In his case, it was a desperate attempt to gain attention, approval, and stroke his own ego. His self image was so low that he would do anything to have someone tell him they liked him, loved him, that he was nice, good in bed, etc. Anything for anything good. Yet, it was never enough, not from me or from anyone else. The more he heard it, the more he wanted, and the more people (women) he'd seek it from. It never actually did anything to make him feel better permanently, though, but it did make him think he could get away with it.  If he got caught, it made him so upset that he'd go find someone else to hear it from. He grew up in a verbally and emotionally abusive family, though, and refused professional help for it.
    I'm pretty sure we have the same ex.  Like, no joke.  I could have written the same post.  My ex's mom was very unstable and emotionally manipulative.  He also had no true role model to look up to growing up.  It was sad, but I couldn't deal with it for long.
  • As pp brought up, monogamy isn't for everyone. But our society encourages it. So, they get into monogamous relationships and are scared to admit it's not what they want. And so they cheat.
    Others do it for the cake and the icing. My ex liked the attention. I think it gave him some sense of power or something. And drama. I think he got off on watching girls catfight over him.
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    JennyColada
  • abbyj700abbyj700
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    edited April 21
    Happy you pointed out that dynamic @LDay2014. I have polyamorous friends who are married and other friends who are always really thrown off by that idea. They assume that there can't be cheating in a non-monogomous relationship - but there certainly can be. Sneaking and lying plays a factor I almost feel more in the poly/swinger world because your partner knows they can be honest with you and they still aren't. 

    Happy for you and FI that you worked through it! 
  • @abbyj700 every relationship is different.  Each couple's dynamic is different.  For us, we have ground rules - we always play in the same room.  ALWAYS.  There are no 'dates' but we do have a lot of fun ;).

    We have friends who have separate dates, go out with other people, and have full blown additional relationships.

    For us, it's just about some variety and the fun stuffs
    mbross3chibiyui
  • I have to say, I love that this topic brought out the alternative relationship ladies. High fives!
    pinkcow13
  • FiancBFiancB
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    abbyj700 said:
    Sneaking and lying plays a factor I almost feel more in the poly/swinger world because your partner knows they can be honest with you and they still aren't. 

    Yep. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  It sounds silly to say your ex cheated when you were in an open relationship, but that means open communication. Since decided that poly is not for me but I do have friends that are very happy and married for years that do that. Different couples have different comfort zones with that too. 
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    abbyj700mbross3wandajune6
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited April 21
    My two children have friends who are what they call "polyamorous".  They are in marriages or relationships which permit sex outside the marriage/relationship.  My stance was that this doesn't work well. Son was all for it, until the girl he was in love with told him that she was pregnant and that she was sure that it wasn't his.  He was so hurt.  They are still friends, but not lovers.
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