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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

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 09-May-13 02:20:45

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.

So why sign up for monogamy and vow to be faithful to someone, to foresake all others?

Why not just agree to an open relationship - what's so wrong with that?

Why lie and cheat and go behind the person you love's back? Why not just be upfront from the start, and then, presumably, no-one gets hurt in the pursuit of getting one's end away, in the pursuit of the sex that it is so easy to separate from emotion?

perfectstorm Thu 09-May-13 02:43:14

destroying a household, wrecking kids lives, because of a bit of sex? That is not necessary.

So why have it? If it's just a bit of sex, as you say... why cheat and cause those consequences at all?

Sorry, but your position is contradictory. If sex really isn't that essential, and someone taking it seriously enough to leave is unreasonable, then the person cheating is causing such pain and risking such devastation to those they presumably claim to love most... over something you see as unimportant.

It looks very like rationalising bad behaviour away, tbh. Either the sex is important enough to risk everything for, and thus important enough for the injured party to feel the marriage is no longer tenable; or it's not important at all, in which case the cheater can have no concern or love for their family if they are willing to risk it so casually.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 09-May-13 04:31:08

Because at the end of the day it's not really the sex that's the problem, is it?

It's the lying, deceiving, hiding, making-a-mug-of, covering up, paranoia-creating, etc, etc, ad nauseum that's the real problem when it comes to infidelity.

It's all this stuff ^^ that causes irreparable damage to a heretofore good relationship, and erodes trust to an unworkable level.

I have no wish to get into a slanging match with an OP who clearly has form (sorry, I don't recognise your name, but other well-known poster appear to). You come across as quite goady on this thread, but I'm happy to give you the benefit of the doubt.

If have extramarital sex is not that big a deal, then what's wrong with agreeing on that, instead of agreeing on monogamy?

This way, the true causes of the hurt and devastation - the lying and deception - are done away with. Why be astounded that, as a result of cheating and lying, your partner wants to leave you? Why shouldn't they? A relationship is not the be all and end all.

I say all this with no vested interest. I have never knowingly been cheated on, but am empathetic enough to understand how soul-destroying it must be for the cheatee.

Mosman Thu 09-May-13 05:33:02

Yeah, when I wanted a bit of sex since DH and I split its a massive issue, funny that.
It boils down to whatever is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander but of course most married men are less keen in their shirts going unironed whilst their wife gets her leg over.

WaitingForMe Thu 09-May-13 06:12:51

OP seems quite confused.

I can very easily have sex without emotion and did in my single days. I also don't see monogamy as necessary to a relationship but DH feels it is and I think he's worth being monogamous for. If that we're to change and he wanted an open relationship I'd probably be ok with it. To me it's just sex.

Infidelity would be unforgivable because it requires a separation from what we have agreed together. That separation would be the wrecking behaviour. The OP seems to think the cheatee who throws out the cheater is ending the relationship when it is in fact already over. A cheatee who forgives is agreeing to try again. Something has changed and the relationship will forever be different. But it was wrecked by the person cheating not by the reaction from the cheatee.

AnyFucker Thu 09-May-13 08:10:21

Oh, cron, you have to stop letting your affection for me seep out in your posts

People are talking

Looksgoodingravy Thu 09-May-13 08:35:12

Cheating is all about being self centred and selfish and 'checking out' of your current relationship. Even if you can have sex with no emotion you're still breaking the trust of the one person who should be able to trust you more than anyone else!

cronullansw Thu 09-May-13 10:04:57

DonDraper - in case it is of any consequence, I am, and have been for a decade, entirely faithful to my partner. Previously we chose not to be, we've been married over 20 years.

And if you think I'm being 'goady', it is in part due to the complete and utterly different position between the article writer and the regular MN / Relationships poster....

As in, ''my husband has an adultwork account, what should I do.... LTB!'

I saw this completely different approach as amusing, plus it offered a different opinion, hence I waited to see it being discussed and ripped apart on here, that never happened, so I took it upon myself to start the thread.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Thu 09-May-13 10:08:28

Cronullansw - I am a wife whose husband had an affair. I have also, since my divorce, had an open relationship. The problem is not with the sex per se, it is with the fact that in order to do that he broke my trust, lied to me. He didn't tell me he wasn't happy and was going to go off and dip his wick elsewhere, he lied. If he had told me, then I could have made an informed decision about whether or not I was prepared to accept that.

And to be honest I don't see what's amusing about the blog.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Thu 09-May-13 10:09:47

Correction. I was a wife whose husband had an affair. I am no longer his wife.

perfectstorm Thu 09-May-13 10:15:17

You know OP, what I find interesting is that you clearly think your attitude to sex is better. You're judgemental and sanctimonious towards those holding more traditional views. That's no different.

I hold no views, other than that people need to communicate their wants and expectations and to be fair to their partner. It's up to them what arrangements best suit them, but to pretend to monogamy so your partner is faithful to you, while you fuck around, is nauseating. And that's the most common. Cheating spouses usually get very pissed off when the other spouse meets someone else.

Open relationships are morally no better nor worse than monogamous ones, IMO. But cheating has about as much to do with that as knife crime does surgery.

Dahlen Thu 09-May-13 10:30:56

I have no problem separating sex from emotion. Trouble is, as soon as you lie to someone in order to have sex, you throw the two together. So when a relationship breaks down due to an affair, it isn't because of the sex it's because of the betrayal of trust.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 09-May-13 11:03:08

You seem to be almost sneering at people who don't put up with shit and, yes, LTB.

Why? It's odd.

onefewernow Thu 09-May-13 11:14:26

Perfectstorm, that is a really interesting point. That if you agree to remain with someone after infidelity and lies have taken place, you are after g to a new relationship and the old one is already over.

It does takes time to develop though. For me, I got some of the changes immediately and others have been a work in progress, with him having sole counselling finally.

So LTB didn't work for me, and I don't think all changes can be made overnight. However, there had to be a cut off point, and its easy to see why people might not think its worth the effort. I actually think, as someone who didn't LTB, that is still a fair suggestion, as so many people don't consider that they can do so.

SomeDizzyWhore1804 Thu 09-May-13 11:15:10

Not the moral majority by any stretch of the imagination but I agree with all the posters who have said the lies are the problem.

I would be more than a bit pissed off if DH was putting it about outside our marriage but that would be as an aside to the betrayal I would feel about him lying to me day in, day out and taking an active decision to do it and keep doing it. Not okay. It's not really about the immorality of the act as such.

onefewernow Thu 09-May-13 11:15:11

Agreeing, not after g. iPhone!

PostBellumBugsy Thu 09-May-13 11:44:57

As somone who did LTB, it is no light undertaking. I tried to make things work for a year, but it was hopeless.
LTB was a darn sight harder than getting married. Apart from the pain & heartbreak and all that miserable stuff, the admin was a nightmare, the arrangements for the children was a nightmare and the splitting of assets was a nightmare. It was almost enough for me to TTBB!!!

debtherat Thu 09-May-13 23:39:00

Only 5 months but feels longer. He keeps saying that I need to help him - think he means be nice to him/don't get angry...but I don't perceive that he is doing anything - odd forced compliment, how are you, maintains he wants to stay here. B/h weekend left it to him to organise something for us - I spent 6 hours cleaning/food shopping baking. Went onto email and message to him from Facebook young female foreign friend asking how his affair was going!?? And saying she enjoyed messing around with him!! I went ballistic, asking what she meant by messing around and he played it down and wouldn't show me previous exchanges. Still v, angry - he also mentioned that he had been in contact with OW re work project only (she left his workplace in Dec) only re work v.hard to believe. He mainly uses password protected email and iPhone so I do wonder what other delights I would find on here. I struggle to understand why he is still here.

cronullansw Fri 10-May-13 00:41:10

FFS... there are some people here who can't read.

Freddie - I didn't say the blog was amusing, I found the fact that it came from a completely different direction to the one most Relationship posters are coming from to be amusing. It would be like The Mirror having a ''isn't David Cameron a great guy'' editorial.

Storm - again, FFS, I'm practising fidelity, but I do find the 'omg, he looked at another woman - LTB' response that is so commonly preached from here to be stupid beyond words. If I am judgemental about others holding 'traditional' views, surely they are being judgemental toward me for holding different views? We are allowed to have different opinions aren't we, there is no opinion approval test before joining MN is there?

LittleMissLucy Fri 10-May-13 01:28:14

I feel a bit bad for you Cronullansw. I don't think you've done anything wrong in starting this thread. But you have seriously underestimated a lot of Mumsnetters collective ability to objectively and somewhat intellectually, discuss something.

It can't easily be done - it has to be highly personalized, i.e. you are causing offense to specific individuals, or causing them to turn on you with personal criticism of how they perceive you. Its just the way it is here, unfortunately. Its like walking into suburbia and finding a bunch of women talking over a garden fence with only gripes and bitchiness to share.

AnyFucker Fri 10-May-13 06:42:43

Deb,, you are being taken for a mug, love

Why your cheating partner is still
"there" with you is explained by how you tell us you spent your bank holiday

"cooking, cleaning, baking"

You are a domestic appliance to him, while he gets fun times elsewhere

Just throw him out

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Fri 10-May-13 06:45:00

But of course, not you MissLucy, you're above such banalities. wink

I'd have thought suburban housewives would be far more likely to turn a blind eye to infidelity to maintain the status quo, than leave the bastard...

scaevola Fri 10-May-13 06:52:51

"He looked at another woman" - then "LTB" would be a spoof and OTT response. But that's a straw man situation which is not relevant to circumstances where there has been a huge breach of trust (such as the protracted lying inherent in an affair, and often the most hurtful part).

So the poster is saying "He's been lying to me for months" then it would be wrong o say someone should uncritically stay. And what usually happens is that posters advise time and space and making an active decision on whether to continue the relationship, and to make that decision only after time has passed and OP is feeling stronger.

Stereotyping MNetters rarely leads to persuasive argument.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Fri 10-May-13 08:49:01

Especially when you, yourself are a Mumsnetter, as well. Thereby proving the theory defunct.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Fri 10-May-13 09:03:12

cronullansw - amusement to something so serious is a really strange affect in the circumstances. Shock, maybe, or puzzlement. But amusement is a very odd response. Have you considered counselling?

Also, I can read. And write. And spell. Your point is?

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