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Why dont ment see inappropriate contact (sexting etc) as cheating?

(58 Posts)
wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 09:37:01

I have been reading about this alot since I found out about my H's sexting "affair" and it seems that what he said, that he didnt see it as cheating because he didnt actually sleep with her or have any physical contact, is a common thing.

But I dont get it.

If they dont think of it as cheating then why keep it secret from the wife? Why, as my H did, have a secret phone dedicated to this sordid activity? If it isnt cheating then they dont have the keep it secret do they? The fact that they do hide it shows that they know its wrong, so how can they say that they didnt think they were cheating?

TobyLerone Thu 14-Jul-11 09:39:20

It's the secrecy that's the cheating part, not the texts, IMO.

allegrageller Thu 14-Jul-11 09:40:42

there's surely no way in hell that sending explicit messages to a real person is not a form of cheating on one's partner. No flipping way.

I think sadly that this form of behaviour is also usually a prelude to more physical types of cheating.

allegrageller Thu 14-Jul-11 09:41:35

Toby i agree in a way but how many men (or women) would want to confess to their partner about doing something sordid which is a form of betrayal of one's partner. I can't believe many/any partners would consider it harmless fun.

springboksaplenty Thu 14-Jul-11 09:44:36

I think they do see it as cheating but are desperately hoping that by telling their partner they didn't, that somehow their partner will forgive them.

wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 09:45:50

Thats kind of what I suspect Springbok, but it hasnt worked here I can assure you sad

Anniegetyourgun Thu 14-Jul-11 09:51:14

People (it's not just men - who do you think is at the other end of the phone?) don't see it as a bad thing because they don't want to accept that they are doing something bad. They want to, so they justify it. We're all capable of lying to ourselves, but some people make it a lifestyle choice.

springboksaplenty Thu 14-Jul-11 09:53:08

Forgot to say, sorry that this happening to you. I can imagine you being devastated - I would be.

Is this a deal breaker for you? I have to admit, cheating isn't a deal breaker in my relationship with dh, but if he were 'sexting' but refused to properly acknowledge what he had done and take responsibility for it, I don't think we could work past that. It shows an additional level of disrespect to me.

wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 10:12:22

Springbok
The sexting itself is bad enough but its the fact that I was pg and he went weird about sex so we didnt have sex almost the whole time. I had to put up with that, but he relieved his frustration with the sexting. That for me is the biggest betrayal. It was a hard time for me physically and emotionally and the person I should have been able to rely on was cheating on me.

He has acknowledged it and doesnt blame me or anyone else, he has taken full responsibility for it, but that doesnt change the fact that it happened. The "it isnt cheating" thing he said he felt at the time, but now he knows better. I think that he convinced himself it wasnt cheating so he could carry on doing it.

Is it a deal breaker? I dont know. Right now it feels like it is, but as I only found out on Saturday night I am still in a state of shock and cant really think straight. I have some books that I found recommended on here that I will work through before I make any decisions.

Interestingly, the woman he was doing it with is also spoken for and she mentioned her OH several times in the messages ("cant talk now as X is next to me" etc) and also included chatty stuff about normal life. He didnt, there are no messages at all about anything other than sex, which makes me think that she was in her pigeon hole to serve her purpose and he didnt want to get any further involved with her than the sexting. She would message him at any time, when she was with her family, at work, etc but the messages from him are all sent when he is at work and away from me and the family. Messages she sent him asking what he was up to etc that didnt involve sex were ignored. My friend says that it was almost as it she was "personal porn", something to jack off to but then put back in a drawer.

ShoutyHamster Thu 14-Jul-11 11:26:40

As Springbok said, but also it's just the way a dishonest person's mind works, isn't it? They do something dishonest and then make excuses. It covers everything from 'No I didn't deliberately eat your bit of cake, it fell on the floor so I thought you wouldn't want it so I had it' right up to 'No it wasn't cheating because I didn't have sex.' Just general dishonesty - wanting to do bad things, and hoping to get away with them by twisting the truth to make themselves seem less at fault.

So again it comes back to lying being the main problem. Awful that he turned elsewhere and refused to prioritise his family and sort out any problems, worse that deep down he is a dishonest type, a man whose first solution would be: do it anyway, because you want to, work out an excuse later because what she doesn't know won't hurt her. And if she does find out LIE LIE LIE and twist the truth - anything but accept full responsibility.

catwalker Thu 14-Jul-11 19:25:11

wtfdoido - how are you coping? You must still be reeling if you only found out on Saturday. My dh got involved in 'sexting' and am happy to pm you and tell you his take on things if you want?

wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 19:45:20

Catwalker - I would really appreciate that. thank you.

As this is a first for me, never having done it myself of known anyone who has (or who is prepared to discuss it!) it would be really helpful to get another POV on it.

thanks

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 14-Jul-11 20:13:18

My H's affair started out as sexting - for them it was testing the water before actually having sex and in between shags, it kept them going.

cathkidstonbag Thu 14-Jul-11 20:16:18

wtfdoido - I can give you the POV from someone who's done it if you want to PM me. Although I have to say it does sound like straight forward sexting rather than the emotional affair type of thing.

wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 21:12:07

Madabout and omg

It sounds like his was a mixture of what you are both saying.

On the one hand, I do believe it was purely sexual, no emotions involved. There was no emotional language in the texts, no "I miss you" or "You look amazing" or whatever, it was all just describing physical acts. But I think that it would have become a full blown affair or atleast there would have been actual sex happening, if not a full affair, given half a chance. Due to my being so ill and also being on first names terms with his boss, he couldnt get much time away from work or home without me either needing him, or finding out that he wasnt at work when he told me was. Her circumstances meant that they couldnt go to her home as her DH would be there, so it didnt happen, but I am sure that eventually it would have done.

All that said, it did cool off quite significantly just before my due date. Not sure why, whether because the end was in sight or because he finally felt guilty. And if he hadnt brought home the phone he had previously kept at work, I would have had no idea and he would have gotten away with it. It does make me wonder if he let me find it "accidentally on purpose".......

wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 21:23:11

OMG, I think that would help, if you wouldnt mind?

Thank you

cathkidstonbag Thu 14-Jul-11 21:27:48

I don't mind at all smile

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 14-Jul-11 21:37:44

Cheaters often find a way of getting their shags - e.g hotels, afternoons off work etc without raising too many suspicions.

allegrageller Thu 14-Jul-11 21:39:02

I've done it too- very briefly and feeling oddly under pressure. Not really knowing what I was doing or what was expected other than the correct 'noises' (and that is really all it is). I felt quite a bit like the OW must have done for your H- like a blow up doll. No references to any sort of interpersonal relationship were acknowledged at all. I exited the 'relationship' feeling sick, used and stupid. Not an experience to repeat.

allegrageller Thu 14-Jul-11 21:40:56

and wtf, the sexting man did start demanding and planning actual sex immediately (after saying he couldn't, blah blah).

wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 21:48:45

Mad - The texts do confirm that they didnt have sex, there are lots of references to the fact that "need" to meet up soon and then some a couple of months later bemoaning the fact that they still hadnt met up.

the situation with his work means that he couldnt get a day off without me knowing about it, so does that mean that he really wouldnt have done it? Or does it mean that he just hadnt quite crossed that last barrier and it would have at some point become inevitable?

cathkidstonbag Thu 14-Jul-11 21:55:01

How did they know each other? Did they know each other in RL or did he meet her online?

wtfdoido Thu 14-Jul-11 21:57:58

She was an ex from years ago, they went out for a very short time and he dumped her because she was a nightmare and she really was! H and I were mates then from the same social circle and she was a major league pita and embarrassed him several times. Clearly she wasnt that much of anightmare.......

maleview70 Thu 14-Jul-11 23:06:17

Springboks sums it up. He knows it's a form of cheating but there is no way he is going to admit that to you!

Bizarrely a few posts in and you are already trying to justify it to yourself.

It's like when a man shags a hooker. "she didnt mean anything, I don't even know her name" that's is actually true for the most part but would you accept that?

Men are very capable of segmenting their lives not feeling any remorse.

What you do about it is up to you. I would say forgive once but make it clear that it's over if you find anything ever again even if that is in ten years time.

wtfdoido Fri 15-Jul-11 00:24:13

I wouldnt say I am justifying it so much as explaining the situation. Its weird. It isnt the sexting in itself that is getting to me the most, its the timing and the how and why that pisses me off.

I almost (almost) wish he had slept with her, because atleast then I would have something concrete to deal with. But the maybe he would, maybe he wouldnt, the questioning of why he did it...that is really pissing me off because I am trying out all these theories to explain it.

The one that sticks most is that he is a selfish prick who didnt love me or our family enough to be truthful and faithful and that is why it is very unlikely that I will try again.

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