These replies to infidelity and divorce questions are really bugging me, so here is MY question... Is it?

Always one person's fault when someone cheats? If you feel that way, please tell me how you can justify being so absolute. To add some context, let's say it's a married couple with young children, and one parent goes out and has a one night stand.

Do you belive that it take two people to make a relationship work and two people to screw it up?

Do you think that there are times that a person that made such a choice deserves another chance?
If you are one of those people that believes in one strike and you're out... what about the children who are innocent victims in this situation? Do they deserve to grow up without one of the bilogical parents around hardly at all because they made a horribly poor decision one night?

To be clear, I believe that infidelity is a terrible thing. I believe that two wrongs don't make a right. But I also believe that it takes two people to make something work... or not. So while I feel strongly that cheating on your spouse is a terribly poor choice to make, I believe that (at least in some cases) that the other (innocent) spouse may have played a role in what eventually led to that bad decision.

So... is it one and done and to hell with the imminent emotinal train wreck that is barreling down on the kids, OR... can a POSSIBLE second chance be worked out, depending on the details and contributing factors?

  • It's one and done, kids or no kids
    Vote A
  • A second chance might be in order, depending the details
    Vote B
  • If it can possibly be worked out and turned around, do it
    Vote C
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
Updates:
OK, so it's been an hour. So far we have 60/40 in favor of some version of a second chance opportunity. That's pretty close (one vote in fact, ha!).

Four girl comments and only one guy. Anyone else?
Thanks to ALL who put some thought into their replies. It looks like 60/40 in favor of a second chance is about where people stand.

To be clear, I'm not a parent, never cheated or been cheated on. I simply wanted to inspire people to THINK a little bit, before drawing a hard-line "zero tolerance" policy. Yes, infidelity is a terrible thing that leaves collateral damage in it's wake. BUT... once the DEED IS DONE, there are other factors (and people) to consider BEFORE taking further action.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • it takes two to make it work or screw it up.
    if he neglected her she will eventually cheat either emotionally or physically and if she neglected him he will eventually cheat either emotionally or physically.
    no one cheats for no reason unless there is no love in the first place.
    and yes of course the kids deserve a better life. so dont just kick her or him out for one mistake.
    we are all human and its our nature to do mistakes. and who are we not to forgive one mistake while "God forgives everyone (if you were a believer)", or while our parents forgive us for everything we do no matter how hurtful we were.
    and all this is applicable if it was a mistake and not a love relationship that has been going for a while. and it depends on the details.

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    • Excellent points. Thanks.

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    • I'm sorry but I was very neglected and mentally abused in my last relationship and never once even considered cheating for a second. Even when he suggested I find someone else to fulfill my sexual needs I cried and begged him not to say such awful things. I was so convinced through his manipulation that I was the problem when in fact he had cheated on me multiple times. I even was there taking him to the hospital, paying his bills, begging him for sex, and still got lied to, cheated on, and used. So how did I contribute to the failure of that when I did everything right?
      I'm not bitter and so happy to be out of that relationship and even happier now to be with a man who actually cares about me. I just want you to realize that sometimes it really is only the cheaters fault.

    • @kittykatg neglect has so many different aspects, nobody is perfect to not commit any mistake, maybe the smallest thing that u see not important at all is very important to him and had him hurt or feel neglected.
      im not saying that there are no exceptions, you can always find people of both genders with screwed up brains that are simply sex oriented and are naturally infidel to their partners.
      plus i stated "no one cheats for no reason unless there is no love in the first place"
      "and all this is applicable if it was a mistake and not a love relationship that has been going for a while. and it depends on the details."

Most Helpful Girl

  • Most people tell themselves one and done because their self worth tells them there is no compromising. I believe cheating happens due to a lack of intimacy, someone stopped trying or become complacent, and ultimately a lack of proper communication. Cheating is never the answer and if that line is crossed it is hard to bounce back from... people make mistakes tho. And some genuinely don't realize how bad they screwed up until it's too late... certain instances, I think reconciliation is in order. Relationships can be quite complex tho so there def isn't one answer here.

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    • Agreed a million percent. Thank you

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    • @Myselfplusrespect you raise a good point. Like I mentioned, there isn't just one blanket answer to every scenario.

    • which is the very reason @hthrilla got MHO. If for no other reason than that there's not a one size fits all answer here.

Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 14

  • No, there is never an excuse. There is never a legitimate reason. There is never an explanation or a time where it is ever okay. There is only one person responsible when cheating occurs. The person doing the cheating. It is NEVER the other spouses/gf/bf fault. EVER!

    Every time I come across a story about cheating or I hear from a friend or anybody else that they cheated. I hear the same thing. What the other person did to drive them away. How they got drunk, or got seduced and made a mistake. There are NEVER mistakes when it comes to cheating. There are only decisions. Decisions that can turn out many different ways. Just because it ended up being a really bad one and someone regrets it forever does not make it a mistake. It was still a horrible decision.

    We all have choices to make in this life. When your relationship has problems, you work on them. You talk to your SO and communicate. You work out your issues and find a solution. That's what you do in a relationship. Cheating is the exact opposite of that, but with untold amounts of emotional damage that comes with. If you are not ready to do the work necessary to make things last, then you should not be in a relationship at all.

    Now to answer the question. There are some out there who can forgive, and yes some who do deserve forgiveness (highly dependent on the situation). It really depends on how serious the cheating was and whether or not the other person is the kind of person who can forgive. Not everybody out there can, no matter how much they want to.

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    • I don't agree with the majority of what you said. But I really do appreciate how much thought and time you put into your reply. Thank you.

    • I completely agree with you.

      There may be reasons why someone cheats, but it is ONLY his/her fault that he went through with it, not their partners.
      How dare people say otherwise? It's ridiculous! That person did not ASK to be cheated on. That person did not say "go ahead, do it", otherwise it wouldn't be cheating. That person did not have any knowledge that it was going to happen.

      The person who cheated single-handedly destroyed any chance their relationship had. If there are problems in your relationship, that's a two way street. But cheating is your fault, and your fault only. Cheating is the response of negative things in your relationship. Rather than working on them in a healthy way, you decide to wander. That is YOUR choice. There is absolutely no fault or blame on your partner. There is NEVER an excuse to cheat. There may be reasons, and the reasons may be a two way street, but YOU went out and cheated. Your choice.

  • a persons individual actions are theirs to make and thus their responsibility, that is immutable truth. If the person refuses to explain why they are unhappy you cannot blame the other, if they are trying to work things out and the offending party just goes out and has a one night stand irregardless of the consequence then again that is on them, if the person has no desire to change anything and doesn't try so the other goes and has a one night stand then again that was their choice and their responsibility. I honestly do not see what the issue is. They can work on the problem or leave, cheating is never exceptable and never some one elses fault. To say otherwise is to try and excuse their actions and avoid responsiblity. Obviously they didn't care about the relationship because going off and having sex with some one else isn't prioritizing their relationship with that person and it isn't going to solve the problem but make it much much worst. Meanwhile it shows that the person does not truly care about the other person or their children if they have any since they are perfectly willing to destroy their entire family for their own personal desires. So, yes it is their fault and their fault alone. They have the option to fix the problem or leave, they chose to hurt everyone instead. I don't see how this is a question.

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  • In almost all cases it's caused by both parties. Either someone is feeling the other has changed and isn't the same person. Eg. Lack or sex or loss of interest in the other person. So what is lacking is found in the company of some one else. Most here will say it's the cheaters fault.. Elk I adamantly say both are at fault. The one partner who changed enough to push the other away without helping the other to understand why they changed , and the one who found comfort elsewhere. I see many on this site that say they would never forgive someone who cheated , but I have also seem as many say they wouldn't be faithful to someone who won't have sex with this.. Are these people hypocrites?

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    • The question as to how it will play out for the children is this , can there be honest and true forgiveness for the infidelity? If so then work things out and go on with life. But if not , the war between the parents could be worse for the children to see than one of them being absent

    • all good points.

    • Thank you

  • In order for an individual to cheat they must have two things. Reason and opportunity. You have a certain amount of control over reason, but literally zero control over opportunity without generating more reasons. Of course there are those who are fundamentally damaged to the point that cheating becomes the reason in itself, but they are the small minority. if someone is going to cheat, there is nothing you can do to stop them, however if they are getting what they need from the relationship they will not have a reason to cheat in the first place. Obviously cheating is immoral on the part of the cheater, but the partner plays a role as well.

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    • well said sir.

      So then, if the two partners can sit down and talk through it, are you in favor of trying to forgive and move forward?

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    • @asiag299 children can survive divorce but it's not the fit all answer to this situation. Clearly people have not read all of my comments. I've said that children should not live in a home where the parents hate each other. That is worse than divorce.

      I'm not 'tripping". I just hope that people will think FIRST about the kids. And if they DO divorce, that they still put the children first. One guy said that if a mother were to cheat he would try to get custody of the children because "she would be a poor role model". That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Do you know what sort of havoc that wreaks in a young girls life to not have a mother? ?

      And children should NEVER BE told by one parent that the other is a "cheater" or a bad person. That's it.

      WTO is wrong with people..

    • nope plenty of people grow up without mom's and they're just fine. Just imagine growing up with a crackwhore as a mom. I'd tell my children if their father cheated my mom told me that was the reason for their divorce once I was old enough to understand and I don't feel anything towards my dad but love. I don't think what he did was a mistake and I told him he made a bad CHOICE because cheating is never a mistake. I don't think telling your children that one partner cheated is going to kill them. i don't know what sensitive children you're around but the majority of us don't give a damn.

  • One and done for me, end the relationship if you must fuck other people. in my opinion adultery should be a criminal offence, the amount of pain this causes to another person is unacceptable and if kids are involved it's obviously much much worse.

    I know a guy who's wife had an affair and the family found out, ended up tearing the family appart and they are divorced. Their daughter regularly, very calmly, directly and honestly looks right into the eyes of her mother and say's "I hate you" she has been doing this for over a year now, all their kids are having huge problems like walking out of school to wander around the city alone at 10 years old etc...

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  • when there is kids involved I think everything is different. I don't know if it necessarily take two to cheat, but there needs to be a real honest discussion about the relationship moving forwards. Both have to admit the faults in the relationship and have to commit to rebuilding it. If bother cannot do that, then it'll be doomed to fail again.

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  • Believe me, I've been cheated on & guess what, she never once came to me to say she was unhappy or whatever. Soooo am I supposed to be a mind reader? Is that partly my fault that I thought she was happy? Why didn't she tell me instead of cheating? You know why? Because she's selfish. Thought she could get away with it & keep me to pay the bills etc, keep her stable life with her image & reputation intact. Maybe you should do some research on proper affair websites not these that say "An affair can save a marriage". Yeah if you're a doormat, with no self-respect. You could be the best husband/wife on the planet, but a cheater weill cheat... because they can. Theyre expert deceivers, liars & manipulators. Maybe their spouse wasn't great either, but did they cheat? No!!!

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    • Sounds like in your case you weren't given much of a choice. However, my point is that each situation should stand on it's own and dealt with using a thoughtful mind and spirit... especially when it comes to the children.

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    • Yeah that's where it gets really sticky. And even if the parents decide to divorce, the WORST thing in the world is for the kids to hear about ADULT things.

      One parent will try to make the other look bad to the kids, and all it does is damage them even more than they already are. Anyway... sorry that happened to you and it couldn't be worked out. Thanks for your reply.

  • One and done. Period. Yes it's one persons fault if they cheat because they did what was wrong. If they're not happy then they can talk or just leave. Cheating is the most despicable thing one can do to another. It simply proves they don't give two shits about the person they cheated on, or the relationship they had. It's selfish and obnoxious. Instead of only thinking about getting yourself off, think about the reasons why things are bad. If they're that bad, just leave. If you don't want to leave, then start talking. There's no excuse whatsoever for cheating. Just the act of a despicable selfish narcissistic person.

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    • Thanks. You seem pretty bitter but regardless... I think we all agree here that cheating is bad. But the one and done is what's in question. So you seem to have answered that at the beginning of your reply. Thanks for your opinion.

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    • Sir, I'm 20 years old and never been in a relationship yet (by choice). Thank you for your answers

    • lol Ok "miss"

  • I'd say its both fault but cheating is never a solution. If one cheated on the other , there is most likely a reason. Lack of intimacy , no more effort/time into the relationship etc. It is both faults but inexcusable action. Communication is what's lacking. If even working that doesn't help, then divorce is a better option than cheating. How can you trust someone cheating on you instead of making effort to bring the love back?

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    • Thanks. I'm not sure that you answered the question though. I think we are all in agreement that cheating = BAD. That wasn't the question.

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    • Maybe it was just a bad mistake and the person wouldn't do it again but the partner will still suffer for a long time because developping trust takes time and breaking it trough cheating will destroy all of it. You can't have 100% trust in your partner again after such event. And living with someone you can't fully trust is a recipe for a bad relation , not matter if its friend or lover.

    • that is sad but something I do understand.

  • I personally believe that in some cases, you might have tried addressing the problem multiple times, but to no avail. What on earth else can you do if your partner doesn't bother with even trying to care about how you feel? Of course you will look elsewhere. But that "elsewhere" might not be interested in relationships, or you just can't afford to get divorced. I find the absolutism in this a bit extreme.

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  • And there may not be anything wrong with either partner. Maybe the temptation was just too irresitible. It happens in life.

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  • Infidelity by itself shows a weak character rather than simply a poor choice. The problem is not tolerating a past behaviour, it is tolerating weak charatcter and risking any other kind of a damage (doesn't have to be in the shape of infidelity) in the future.

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    • So... you're a "one and done" based not the fact that this "cheater" has "weak character". And so... if she's the mother of you children... how do you handle that part?

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    • It's not because I feel her character is flawed, it's a fact. A FACT. I mean, if we can't call cheaters' characters flawed, it means the world is full of rainbowns thrown up by unicorns. I don't see many colors around.

    • whatever man. The fact is, if she is the biological mother of the children, those children NEED and DESERVE her in their lives. That is not for YOU to decide from your high horse.

      And if you DID decide that, you are a poor excuse for a father... as you have NOT put the best interest of your children FIRST.

      If you want to leave her, fine. But the kids will NOT. Even if you have custody. Grow up man. That's not how it works. Children that have drug addicts for mothers still love them and want contact with them, even if it's only at a distance.

  • I think kids deserve to be happy even if mom and dad are separated. Better to have two separate parents who love them than two who stick together with resentment. It takes two to make a relationship work but no one wether emotional or physical neglect is an excuse to cheat. Infedility is a choice not a result better to leave a relationship than cheat and the stigma that goes with it.

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  • It takes two, most of the time. Normal people don't cheat unless theremiserable. The other is likely to cause such emotions. But one unlocking asshole can also cheat and it only be his fault. Either way is the love and trust are the last things in this world that can't be bought. Please don't desecrate them

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What Girls Said 15

  • I think that, ultimately, it is only one person's fault if they cheat. Whilst they may feel that they have been pushed to that point and the other person may have neglected them somewhat, there is always the moment when they have to make a decision and choose. If they go ahead and cheat, then that is their decision and they must take responsibility for them choosing to something that they could have avoided. They choose to do something they know is wrong. That is their fault and no one elses.

    I think that there are people who deserve second chances and there are many people who obviously give them that. However, I'm done with it. From now on, if someone thinks it's okay to hurt me so badly that they cheat, then they don't truly care for me. I can't be with someone who would disrespect our relationship like that, I just can't.

    Children complicate things. Whilst I would still end our relationship, it would have to be done differently. It would have to be done slowly and of course my child would still be allowed access to their other parent, and I would do my absolute best to not make it a hostile environment and help my child through the difficult situation. But I am not willing to spend the rest of my life - or any time more than necessary - with someone who thought that kind of behaviour was acceptable.

    Like I said, many people do get given second chances and never make that choice again and everything goes very well - but I'm simply not willing to do that again. For other people in other situations, it's a valid choice. It can work. It can be okay. But it's just not something I am able to do.

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    • Thank you for a very well thought out reply.

    • No problem, thanks for asking such a thought provoking question :)

    • I completely agree with you.
      There are ways to make the process easier for your kids.
      But once that cheating line has been crossed you do not deserve to be punished by staying in that relationship.
      Yes, you have children.
      Does that mean you deserve to be in a miserable relationship forever? No.

      And I don't think that people ever really, truly, 100% forgive. I believe there is always some "what if he does this again" thoughts. And I dont think that person can ever truly trust the cheater again. It may work, it may not. If there's a time when the cheater is "running late from work", I'm almost positive the victim would have a cheating thought cross his/her mind, just because cheating is the ultimate betrayal. There is nothing worse for your relationship. It hurts you more than any other choice your partner could make.

  • Well it definitely takes 2 make a relationship and when a marriage is failing its never one person's fault but in my opinion infidelity is never the answer. When a spouse cheats they break a vow no matter if they think there spouse made them do it. That's like saying someone made you want to kill them so you shouldn't go to jail because it was their fault. It's never ok to cheat in a marriage in my opinion you either divorce/separate from your spouse or you stick it out because that's the vow you made. However it happens all the time and whether or not you choose to stay in the relationship or not is your choice but I do believe certain people deserve second chances. As far as for the children I think that a divorce is not always a bad thing. My dad was an alcoholic who cheated on my mom all the time. He made our whole family dynamics so fucked up that me and my siblings had been begging my mom to leave my dad years before she did. I loved my dad but he just wasn't a good husband and it was turning him into a bad dad.

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  • I think depending on what was done definitely takes a toll. Yes infidelity is so unfortunate but I know so many people who have done so, and the fact that I know them personally makes me believe what they say and I know their relationship very well. Even though i don't condone it, it's not my life and most of the time it does take two to make the relationship work, RARELY people go and cheat if they're 100% happy with their marriage/relationship.

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  • It takes two to be happy in a relationship, yes, but if you're unhappy and nothing seems to be working as far as working things out so the both of you are happy, then I feel that's cause to break up, not cheat. If someone feels like doing so it looked at a person and thought, "what if?", I think that's when they should break it off before answering that question.

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  • I think children would be more miserable when it's obvious that their parents are only together because of the kids. I've seen this and it happened with my mum and my step-dad and they told me near the end that once I moved out (when I finished high school), he would leave, I cried my eyes out, and when I moved he did leave. And when the kids are old enough and move out and have their own lives, the break up will still happen. You can't avoid those feelings for the children, but children are stronger than you think and are very adaptable.

    You have to do what makes everybody involved happy. If someone cheated they were NOT happy and are entitled to find happiness elsewhere. Knowing your partner cheated on you and being paranoid it will happen again is NOT happy. And having parents who are miserable will not make the children happy.

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    • Also, cheating is never the victims fault. EVER.

      It can be both peoples fault why the relationship STOPPED WORKED. It is NEVER their fault that a person didn't have the decency to END IT BEFORE THEY HAD SEX WITH SOMEONE ELSE. That is NEVER ok or justifiable. EVER. If you're so inclined to have sex with other people, end it first for christ sake.

    • I agree with a good bit of what you had to say here. Thanks for putting some thought into your post.

  • If you're married then you should try and work things out, otherwise what was the point in geting married? I thought it was WAAAAAAAY better and more committed than just being partners? Anyways, people don't just cheat for the fuck of it despite what some morons may think, not saying it is the faithful spouses fault, but something was missing for them to look outside of the relationship.

    In my eyes, if you have a ring on that finger then you don't just walk away. You committed to that person, it's your job to find out why they aren't happy and to try and make them happy.

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    • Agree. And while I also agree that the cheater should NOT have cheated (they should have talked it out first)... still what's done is done. Marriage (especially with children), should be taken much more seriously that "oh you fucked someone else ONE time. Fuck you forever".

      There are ALWAYS other things (and people) to consider before making that dogmatic move. Just slow down and back up for a minute first...

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    • I never said it did make you a super human though. All I'm saying is that it's extremely rare for a Mormon to cheat on his wife because you have to go before the church for disciplinary action afterwards and it's really shameful. We also have a very strong foundation with the creator so that it was sin we will never partake in. Although we've been on a record of not sinning for 2 weeks now so I'm really happy about that :) Neither of my parents are Mormon by the way

    • @asiag299 leave you alone about your opinion, you're the one making noise on my thread! Go stink up your own thread with your silly ideas.

  • I think there are situations where second chances can be justified. But that does NOT mean that the responsibility for the infidelity is necessarily shared.

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  • I think it is extremely rare for infidelity to be one persons fault and both people in the relationship need to look inward at themselves to understand what prompted it. I also think both parties should accept their culpability and work on those issues to help protect the marriage.

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  • If you refuse to show your partner love, care and be intimate with them, then I understand to some extent. But, if you have no done anything yourself to get passion back into the relationship, if you just went of and fucked someone because you/your spouse/your relationship was going through tough times, there is not excuse for what you did.
    In my opinion children would never be something that could make me stay with a cheater, me resenting their father is not a good environment to grow up in.

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    • a valid point. Would there ever be a scenario where forgiveness and moving forward would be possible... especially if you looked in the mirror and could see that you played a role (no matter how bad his choice was)?

  • It does take two for the relationship to fail or prosper. A lot of varibles are involved in a family. Its possible to work things out and grow.

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  • Nope once and it's over you should never cheat if you have a problem come to me and we can work it out like responsible adults period. If kids are involved I'd still leave but I wouldn't put him out of the child/children's life like other people as I would like my children to have a relationship with their father no matter what. As far as me being with him it would never happen cheating is one line that if crossed I will not forget and because I won't forget it our relationship wouldn't last in the long run because I'd always remember it even if I forgave him.

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  • Cheating is inexcusable so one and done.

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    • I see. So what happens to the children going forward is irrelevant...

    • It's not like I'm going to withhold them from their dad just because he decided to be a cheating scumbag. I'm going to act civil towards him around them. The only thing that will change is they'll suddenly have two homes instead of one.

      I know plenty of kids who are products of divorce and they turned out better than I did - a kid to a dad who cheated on her mom and a mom who had a weak spine and didn't do anything about it.

    • OK fair enough. At least you're not one of those people that claims that a parent that made that poor choice to cheat is forever a poor role model or cannot be a good parent going forward. Thanks for your update.

  • It's one and done. Period. If it happened once, there's always that possibility it'll happen again. Relationships where trust is broken, especially that way, are hard to get back to a healthy stage.

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    • Thanks. Technically you could say that there's "always a possibility" that it ever happens in the first place. Life gives us no guarantees.

      Trust must be earned, and thus there is another choice that the injured party has to make once the infidelity has occurred.

    • You are absolutely right :)

  • I'm inclined to try to work things out if possible.

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  • The kids do not deserve to be around a parent that went out a purposely hurt the other.

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