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Infidelity...... not such a bad thing?

(76 Posts)
cronullansw Wed 08-May-13 01:19:55

''social sanctions around ANY sexual infidelity have hardened to try and keep us true to one another. All 'cheating' is considered wrong and the ethos is 'one strike and you're out.' The trouble with this new ethos is that I believe (after three years' research for a book on infidelity) that the myths and taboos surrounding infidelity are doing more damage to relationships than the extra marital sex itself.''

Taken from this article on the main site......

My view is that infidelity is no reason to wreck a home, but I know I'm swimming against the tide compared to the MN moral majority's standard LTB kneejerk response.

It's an interesting read smile

caramelwaffle Wed 08-May-13 09:53:57

Excellent point onefewer

Branleuse Wed 08-May-13 09:58:31

Freddie, your husband wasnt nurturing your relationship was he?

I didnt mean to offend you or anyone, but if one r both people fail to realise that relationships actually need nurturing, then it will happen. he lied to you and he didnt look after you. I have no idea what your part in it was, or if you played a part in it.#

I think settling for way too little in a relationship and feeling under pressure to keep going in a shit relationship, and only split when they actually put their cock in someone else IS a huge problem, when many relationships just ARE affairs waiting to happen.
Thats not putting a moral judgement on either party. I dnt actually think of having sex with someone else as morally worse than snuggling up to them or telling secrets to someone else that you should really be enjoying with your partner, or else whats the bloody point of them being your partner???? In fact I think the emotional part and the fact they outright decieved me would be much much worse than the actual sex part.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Wed 08-May-13 09:59:26

Okay, Branleuse, I apologise, I misunderstood your post. But in my defence, I am a little sensitive about that sort of thing.

Branleuse Wed 08-May-13 10:02:58

it is a sensitive subject, and im sorry its so raw for you x

FreddieMisaGREATshag Wed 08-May-13 10:04:38

Thanks Branleuse and I'm sorry if I offended you.

The thing is, I tried and tried to be perfect, to be what he wanted, but that way madness lies.

Bogeyface Wed 08-May-13 10:28:01

My marriage was over the second he looked me in the eye and swore on our un born baby that nothing was going on.

He allowed me to tie myself in knots of paranoia, be ill and even suggested I see my GP for non existant depression rather than be honest and truthful.

The fact that he fucked someone else was almost irrelevant after that.

Branleuse Wed 08-May-13 10:33:56

Some people get off on being able to deceive someone. The sex is incidental. When you realise that someone is lying all the time over other stuff, that you may feel is not as serious because its not sexual, then youre doing yourself a disservice, because its someone that doesnt think you deserve honesty. Its a bit psychopathic really

Looksgoodingravy Wed 08-May-13 12:46:45

I think Cogito summed it up perfectly.

I have found the lies and deceit one of the hardest things to deal with. At times I still cannot believe that dp deceived me in such a way, absolutely awful thing to go through, worse in some ways to bereavement. The pain of betrayal was so intense.

I'm still with dp. I've not forgiven him yet, it's work in progress. He has changed though and has made every effort to undo the damage he caused.

If it happened again in our relationship that would be it. It's never ok to cheat on a partner.

debtherat Wed 08-May-13 13:08:11

Hi Looksgoodingravy It is the lies and deceit - undermines your belief in them and your self-belief. I am also still with DP - have asked him to leave a few times but he wants to work on it (still loves me) but seems to be about me helping him by being nicer to him (ie no negative emotions which is just impossible I find). Be interested to hear about your work in progress - what you are doing together and separately - to improve things, be reconciled... when all the defence mechanisms are up and then so easily breached (ie chatting on cheatbook to inconsequential young women about your OW - again no honesty about this, just unfortunate use of shared email). Creates such misery all round but I do think that young people should learn about this, understand emotional impacts ideally before they experience some of the negative ones like being rejected, being messed around so that they have some theoretical strategies to put into practice.

2anddone Wed 08-May-13 13:13:04

I don't give a shit that he shagged her for probably less than 5 minutes before he came. Its the lies, the deceit, the fact that after it had happened I then couldn't trust him again. And yes I did take him back the first time and the second but now he has walked out and I will put money on that there is a third!

Looksgoodingravy Wed 08-May-13 13:29:08

Debtherat, sorry the this has happened to you too.

It's over a year since I found out about the extent of dp's lies.

Immediately after discovery we went to Relate, dp gave me all of his passwords etc, he was honest (eventually) about everything and told me things I would never have found out. He will sit and talk and never lose patience whenever I feel the need and I do still feel the need to talk about it at times. It's not all consuming the way it was but I get flashbacks of when he sat me down and told me the whole sorry story. I also saw a Counsellor by myself, this helped more than the Relate sessions (only had two).

Above all he has changed. He's not the selfish, self entitled arse he was (over an 18 month period) while this was all going on. While I sat at home with our then 4 year old ds.

This has changed our 17 year relationship forever. It's like starting all over again but we've brought forward the good bits.

How long has it been for you?

Dahlen Wed 08-May-13 13:29:30

Just because something is commonplace and almost considered a 'norm' in many cultures (though usually only for the male, of course hmm) doesn't make it ok.

And if infidelity is no reason for 'wrecking a home', how about you just don't do it? If 'home' is sacrosanct, don't do anything to jeopardise it, surely?

Often it's because 'wrecking a home' is shorthand for a cheater not wanting to give up the financial and domestic comforts that come with being in a relationship.

sarahseashell Wed 08-May-13 14:07:37

branleuse I think it's usually the case that it's the cheating partner who's not nurturing the relationship.

Also there's an implication that one deserves to be cheated on if not 'nurturing' a relationship- whereas no-one actually deserves to be cheated on and the lying partner has the option of leaving.

Relationships do go through tough periods as well - some people might cope with this by starting a concurrent relationship but that's rather entitled and unfair IMO - as others have said the betrayal is very damaging to their partner. So no, I don't think infedelity's okay, and that's not even taking into account where children are involved, which is far worse as they're being misled/betrayed too

DottyboutDots Wed 08-May-13 14:17:47

At the root of it all is people are (much more generally than admitted on here) really fucking selfish. Everyone is. We might all pat ourselves on the back for our PC views and fabulous cooking whatever floats your boat but a quick bit of how's yer father with someone who's not their spose, obviously appeals to many, many people.

If i could have sex with someone I really fancied and no-one knew, I'm not sure that I'd say no. If, as we're not in utopia, my DH could find out then I'm too scared not prepared to risk it.

SlumberingDormouse Wed 08-May-13 14:22:32

I've done open relationships before and enjoyed them. That does NOT make going behind my back ok; it's an absolute deal breaker for me (even when we have DCs) and DP knows it. As others have said, it's the lying and deceit, and the lack of respect for me as a person.

skaboy Wed 08-May-13 14:27:53

Weird cos I had a few 'near misses' in my relationship but always stopped it before it started because I just couldn't bear the thought of being with anyone else, hurting my wife and by extension destroying my family. I remember just walking out of a pub without saying anything and ditching all my friends in order to avoid something a few years ago and that was under the influence of many beers. Even after months of separation I have some reflex which stops me talking to other women when out if I think there is a bit of a mutual attraction building.

Shame she didn't think the same way when she had the affair which caused us to break up sad

PostBellumBugsy Wed 08-May-13 14:30:28

Infidelity is such an all encompassing term and for most couples there are varying levels of deal breakers within the term "infidelity".

For me, it wasn't the sex outside of the marriage that was the problem, it was the creation of a whole relationship outside of us that was the problem. I could have coped with a one night stand (although I'd have been livid), because for me that is just a meaningless itch scratching exercise - but for some couples that in itself is a deal breaker.

For me, the investment of time and effort in making a relationship with someone else, when we had a newborn and a toddler and were both working was the worst kind of betrayal. It said that our relationship & the children came probably fourth if you put work & sport after the OH and that was a deal breaker. I fell utterly out of love with my H and didn't want to be with him anymore.

I'm not so sure it is the infidelity that is the problem, to me that is a symptom of a breakdown of love, communication and respect.

Branleuse Wed 08-May-13 14:37:34

lying partner does have the option of leaving. Thats true, but i think that "noone deserves to be cheated on" is way too simplistic.

if people werent obsessed with monogamy and automatically accepting it as a default status without working out what two individuals who have a connection and want to live their lives together, not only WANT but are capable of promising to each other, and without being a bit of a social outcast if they wanted to admit that in public,then it might be a bit easier.

Can you imagine what your mum, or people at the schol gates would say or think if YOU told them you had, or wanted an open relationship, or your partner had suggested it?? Outrage. Disgust, Pity??
Theres huge societal pressure to keep up the pretence, in the same way that gay people have often (or have been historically) felt under huge pressure BY THEMSELVES, as much as by others, to just have a normal family anyway.

noddyholder Wed 08-May-13 14:39:01

This is only ok if both partners agree it at teh start. Otherwise someone is being mistreated

FreddieMisaGREATshag Wed 08-May-13 14:48:28

Some of my friends know I had an open relationship. And funnily enough I just discussed it with someone else over lunch. Not one was disgusted.

bunsmum Wed 08-May-13 14:51:27

I think the reason for infidelity is the marriage killer. And it's often hard to get down to the reason and that's where the trouble starts. I'm a big believer in forgiving people who act in ways dictated by their upbringing/conditioning, especially if they've had a hard childhood and are incapable of interpreting the giving and receiving of love except in the way they've been conditioned in their heads .

In marriages, messages can get misinterpreted, there can be perceived slights, lack of vulnerability with each other, weakness, money problems etc. Some of these lead to infidelity, which is not at all provoked by some hot piece of ass who walks past that you can't resist. I was cheated on and when you're cheated on and years pass and you see WHO it was they cheated on you with and WHAT actually happened to the affair, you realise everything you were imagining in your head is nonsense. That the affair was like some terrible, embarrassing Alan Partridge remake.

Pride in yourself, never letting yourself and your identity go (into your kids or husband) holding on to something for yourself, helps you manage an affair and see an affair more clearly. The people who take pride in themselves and respect themselves often don't marry men who disrespect them anyway, apart from a minority who are genuinely mistaken about the moral character of the person they married.

Cabrinha Wed 08-May-13 14:55:48

Agree it's everything else that goes with it. I'm divorcing my cheating husband. I've spent 6 years of marriage thinking he had a lower sex drive than me, trying not to feel hurt when he rejected me. Guess what? He was fucking other women all along. It's not just that he had sex with them / it's that he denied us that in our relationship, because he was going elsewhere. But, mostly it's the lies. And there are always lies. Even now, the thing that angers me most is a pretty innocuous email to a woman saying it was nice to chat -which he STILL maintains was written by a mate as a joke. Ha ha. I have evidence of you meeting other women for sex, you've agreed not to contest adultery. Yet you maintain that lie - and I despise you for it. Treating me like I'm a fool has been far more damaging than the actual sex.

BigBlockSingsong Wed 08-May-13 15:41:54

I don't know how people can 'get over it' I could never be near my husband again after any kind of infidelity/ONS or otherwise, he would be so dirty and tainted having been in someone else s origins.

cronullansw Thu 09-May-13 00:56:56


I'll reply to those who directed comments at me, rather than discussing the topic in general, in order, as there's some funny stuff here;

Puds - I believe my partner is, and has been, faithful for a long time now. But wtf has it to do with the thread?

MrRected - sorry, you got it wrong pal, I didn't write the article I linked to, I did not suggest discussing infidelity with the kids.

Anyfucker - once again, you choose to make personal comments about me, so shut the fuck up with the insults, pretty please.

BelaLugosi - the article I linked to was on the front page of MN. This forum frequently discusses the very topic the article discusses. So shouldn't the two be put together for rational discussion? But you seem to think open discussion isn't relevant....

My own views aren't particularly relevant, other than yes, lying to partners, destroying trust, emotional abuse, all bad, bad, bad. I completely agree. But leaving a partner, destroying a household, wrecking kids lives, because of a bit of sex? That is not necessary.

Sex and emotion can be separate things.

perfectstorm Thu 09-May-13 02:09:58

But sex and emotion may not be different things if the sex has an emotional impact on the cheated upon party. Their emotions about your sex matter, too, unless you are a sociopath. It isn't for the person doing the cheating to decide how that emotionally impacts their victim.

Nobody forces anyone to enter into a monogamous relationship. If someone wants to be poly, or to have an open marriage, fair play to them. What is not okay is to pretend you are willing to live in accordance with someone else's needs, in order to have your own met by them, while quietly fucking them over. Someone who did that to me would not thereafter be able to meet my needs. In fact they would sicken and repulse me and I would have such utter contempt for their narcissism that I'd want them out of my life permanently. Friends do not lie, cheat and betray, and a strong friendship and trust needs to be at the heart of any good marriage.

Sexual fidelity isn't essential, no. Agreement on whether or not it is, however, is. And someone who wants fidelity from their spouse while screwing about themselves has the understanding of others' rights and needs of an especially selfish toddler. That's not sexually appealing, frankly.

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