Give Cheaters a Break, You're Not Perfect!

Give Cheaters a Break, You're Not Perfect!

My good friend Carol recently told me about how she ended up cheating on her boyfriend of 4 years... before you judge please hear me out. I am tired of seeing cheaters being crucified on this website. So I have decided to leave you with the moral compass and assess whether being a cheater is the worst thing that you can be? A one time occurrence of making a bad decision by a good person, versus a nasty person who has spent years and years creating hurt to those around him.

Carol's boyfriend Tom did a 180 in the first year of their relationship. It started with his drinking and emotional abuse. Carol was 21 and didn't know any better. He was her first love, and she gave him her heart and virginity. Although I told her to leave, she insisted that he was gonna change. But he didn't. He broke her self esteem and he broke her down over 4 years.

Tom's parents got divorced when he was a baby. His mother got sick with cancer, and because of his hate for her, and his personal bias from his father, Tom didn't visit his mother once. Not a call, a card or a visit. She would phone Carol and beg her to ask Tom to come see her, but he refused. Carol would plead with him, asking him to reconsider as his mother raised him as a single mom. Tom simply said "I don't care". She passed away a year later.

Give Cheaters a Break, You're Not Perfect!

The fourth year into the relationship Tom lost his job. Carol was supporting them both, and was shocked to find purchases made on her credit card for a TV, video games, and a new speaker. She asked Tom and he apologized. It wasn't only until the next week that she noticed money going missing from her wallet, and her jewelry disappearing. But he denied it all...

Towards the very last bit of it all, that pushed Carol to another man's arms, was seeing Tom's activity on social media. From commenting on different girls' pictures, to sending them messages, to pretending that he was single, Carol lost her mind.

One evening Carol went out for drinks, and met a guy. He was nice to her, as she describes it, and it wasn't long before she wasn't thinking and let things happen. She did what she did, and confessed to Tom. They broke up, yet everyone around her, including Tom and their mutual friends make Carol out to be the enemy... but I won't have any of it.

Give Cheaters a Break, You're Not Perfect!

YES cheating is wrong! But Tom stole from the only person that was there for him when he had nothing, Tom abused and broke down the only person that loved him year after year, Tom made other women feel special and created pain in the woman he claimed he loves... and this is all ok?

Tom created even more pain for a person that raised him for the past 18 years, by denying her the support and affection from her own son before her death. Just to think about the amount of pain that Tom has caused over all these years? And yet Carol's mistake is unjustifiable? Yet she is the person that is despicable? I don't think so.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • two wrongs don't make a right we learn this very basic lesson in like kindergarten for fucks sake. Course what he did was wrong and in all honesty I would happily cut his rib out and feed him his own still beating heart. But just because he is a piece of shit who is not particularly worth the oxygen he breathes doesn't mean she should cheat on him. You end things first then move on. Simple as that. in reality had he been an average joe not great not bad and she cheated it would be less of a huge deal. She cheated out of spite and in direct retaliation of his actions. While I wouldn't give her flak for it. She was in the wrong and I am sorry but I can't trust someone who cheated once. The fact they found it okay to do it once means that every time after is going to come easier and easier. You are a good friend by sticking by her through all of this kudos to you. while cheaters aren't the worst there is a reason they say once a cheater always a cheater. and that reason I wrote above. Best of luck to you. Also I know it would be hard but trying to leave the bias out of a take makes it more favorably received.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I don't see any reason to stay with a person who is abusive toward me, no matter what. But I'm a leaver, not a cheater. If I were with a man who abused me physically I'd immediately leave and never look back.

    I wonder, though, why you would ask whether cheating is morally permissible in this situation? Violating my own ethical standards is never "permissible" in any situation. It happens, but it isn't "permissible". Also, in an abusive relationship cheating is pragmatic: the mistrust and tension that flourishes in an atmosphere of dishonesty is more likely to cause the abuse to escalate than it is to put a stop to it.
    I'm a moral pragmatist. When I see a problem, I look for a solution. Cheating is not a solution for the problem of physical or emotional abuse.

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What Guys Said 44

  • Two wrongs don't make a right.

    If things were that bad, she should have walked away. So she was feeling bad, and someone came along and sweet talked her and made her feel good. So if she had not confessed, or Tom had forgiven her. Somewhere down the line, she would have done the same thing again.
    Why? Because she was would have still been in the same situation, that lead to her cheating in the first place.

    As a few people have told me, cheating does not get harder. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Like anything else, the first time it is hard. After that it gets easier, the more you do it.

    As for the situation with his mother, I can understand his side. My mother has said things to me, that no mother should ever say to her son. She has stolen taken and done things that have hurt me and her attitude was I am your mother. Like that give her the right, to do anything she wanted and there are not supposed to any repercussion. So stop using the she was his mother argument, you did not live in that home with them.

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  • Nope. Cheating takes multiple bad decisions not just one. You choose to flirt, you choose to meet the person, you choose to escalate, you choose to kiss, you choose to find a more secluded place, you choose to take your clothes off then you choose to have sex all of which you do without ever giving a damn how that affects your partner. As for the excuses, they are just that, excuses. No one turns 180, they behave in a certain way and it if they respond a certain way it is provoked. That's a rationalization, a way to say, "I did a shitty thing but they hurt my feelings so they deserved it" its a way to say that even though you did something horrible, you are not a bad person. You are. If he was doing these things she could have and SHOULD HAVE broken up with him IMMEDIATLEY. She didn't, so as far as I can tell she either liked being treated that way or she is fabricating or embellishing this to justify why she isn't a bad person and that she should be given a free pass. Its possible that he had always been a piece of shit and it was unprovoked and their was no reason for it and he was just manipulating a poor helpless woman who was not capable of thinking things through, of standing up for herself or breaking up with the guy. That's possible, but is it likely? Absolutely not. So again, she could have walked away the moment he started acting shady, she didn't which means either its all bullshit or she is a coward and a shitty person. Either way she was wrong and what she did was unexcusable. PERIOD.

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  • From a more neutral standpoint, let's ask ourselves what kind of reaction we SHOULD have to "cheating". I don't believe the problem lies in people reacting negatively when they hear the word "cheating". I mean, do we want to live in a world where people reacted positively to the word "cheat"? No one has to be right here. Tom is wrong to be abusive, and Carol was wrong to cheat before resolving herself to leave her partner. I don't think anyone would say that continual mental abuse is better than cheating, but cheating is under the connotation that "I was disloyal to my partner but would like him to forgive and forget." Otherwise, it wouldn't be cheating, it would just simply be "breaking up and moving on." As long as two people are together I don't think they should cheat on each other. If there is a problem pushing them away from each other, then they should genuinely look for a middle-ground. If that can't be reached, then comes an ultimatum and separation. That's the politically correct way to approach this without committing any taboos I believe. If I were Carol. I'd use this situation to harden myself. There are many children who grew up with divorced parents because of carelessness and disloyalty. She would do well to carry this experience forward with her so she can say 100% next time around that she isn't at fault. I already admire Carol for her complete honesty, I had cheated on my girlfriend before when separated from her for more than a year, a friend took me by surprise one day when we were alone and I gave in. It was so incredibly shameful. I was so ideal and silly, constantly talking about how I wanted to marry my girl and that she's the "One" for me, but as soon as I'm tempted with a bit of lust I lost myself. I was 18 then. I didn't tell anyone what had happened, but I split with my girlfriend, and I hate myself for this, but I didn't have the courage to tell her I cheated. I did one thing right though I believe. I painted myself as a villain to her and left her, and I haven't ever contacted her once since, despite it being 2 years and I still think about her. I think when we cheat, we need to live with that decision and accept that it might cause a backlash. I sympathize with Carol, just like she or someone else might sympathize with me, BUT no one in their right mind should tell me I wasn't the one who was wrong cheating. Ik the situation is slightly different, but I hope you agree that cheating shouldn't be a "norm".

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  • Poor BS. I'm not buying the crap you are selling. Cheating is skuzzy. It is willingly, knowingly, intentionally hurting and betraying someone you care about in the most intense and intimate way possible. It is the epitome of selfishness and being all about "me".

    You see, you try to offer excuses, well if their mate does this or not, they are not supportive, they are mean, they no longer there for their mate, blah, blah, blah, then it is understandable and justified in some why.

    No way. If their mate sucks than grow some balls and just break up. Then you've left this bad mate and free to screw whoever you want, the one who "makes them feel loved/appreciated" It is always horrible to stay in the relationship and do it behind their mates back.

    Your friend Carol has low character, any guy who ever thinks about making her his girlfriend needs to think over that long and hard because he should know she's capable and letting him give his heart to her, telling him she loves him and that she's committed and then turn around and screw another guy if the relationship has a rough patch.

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  • the only way cheating can be forgiven is if you drank so much you thought it was your SO and they kind of looked the same. otherwise you should've ended the relationship before you cheated. There aren't any excuses other than not being fit to make decisions.

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  • Tom his problems are an issue on it's own, so is your friend's cheating.

    She should have just left him and then started seeing the guy.

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    • You're right, and i do agree with that. I just hate the fact that a nasty person is deemed as innocent, meanwhile a person who has been nothing but understanding - makes a mistake (by sleeping with another guy) and she is looked at as a terrible person. I mean to make cheating out to be as something so bad, in comparison to the other qualities of Tom is mind boggling to me. I don't condone cheating.

    • I can see why you are upset, maybe those people don't know the full story like we do? Both have done some things wrong, I'd personally say Tom his actions are way worse cause you don't treat people like that when they have cared for you. But the girl made a big mistake too, just not as big.

      How is the now tho?

  • This is how a woman functions. It is all textbook 'young female behavior 101'.
    Unfortunately young women are attracted to the 'bad boy', and they stay with him to cop his abuse, emotionally and financially. This is also what happened here.
    A woman almost NEVER leaves a guy to be on her own, she leaves a guy ONLY when another one (better) is in her sights. It is called 'monkey branching' and that is what also happened here. Textbook 101.

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    • I bet the next guy, the one she found at a bar!, the best place to find a guy with a drinking problem?, will a bad boy too, except he has an income.
      Rinse, cycle, repeat.

  • Here's the thing, I'm still going to crucify cheaters. Yeah you could be in a less than ideal emotional state but I've been there before and I've dealt with it without cheating while getting out of it. And if I could handle it, then they can too.

    Your friend could've handled this better but instead she let her turmoil and desperation take control of her.

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  • Unfortunately, in this instance, Carol should not have cheated, as it seems like revenge. She was hurt and wanted Tom to hurt. It is hard to make a hurting person hurt more, but if she was feeling the need for someone else, Carol should have ended her relationship with Tom before pursuing someone else. I can forgive her, but with difficulty.

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  • Not this again.
    Whether you do or do not do bad things matters nothing on whether you are a good person.
    Knowing that you would never do bad things because they are bad, is what makes you a good person.

    Your friend is despicable, and so are you.
    (yes, don't think people don't remember your past rants)

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    • Using "despicable" here makes me think you have never met a person who is *actually* despicable, dude.

  • there's no way to jusify cheating and stealing.

    you're obviously extremely immature if you believe 2 wrongs make a right. This carol got on his level and nothing was justified. If anything carol became worse than scum.

    there's never any justification on cheating. She could have left while still clean but no, she had to be a cunt. you're just as bad for feeling that you can justify cheating.

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  • It’s still unjustifiable, you can’t make a right with two wrongs. She shoud’ve left him in the first place before cheating, and besides this story should probably be taken cum grano salis without both sides

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  • oh really that's the girls fault for staying with someone like that. and to not cheat in my eyes there's only a text under 2 minutes required.

    and most of the time when people cheat it's because of nothing really so it's common sense.

    this one you mentioned is a special case but still she drove the same path as he did and it could've been otherwise.

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  • I agree, people are easy to judge others and are blind for the good things we are doing all the time. What she did shouldn't be called cheating if this story is real, which I don't doubt. She is cheating on her self if she stay with such a person, that's not cheating what she did if the story is true. Get your friend out of that relationship

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  • Even though Tom is a jerk, and he pushed her into the bad decision, she should have left him, period. Moving on is one thing, cheating is another. Giving someone good reason to cheat is opening Pandora's box so to speak. Single people can't cheat.

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  • you're trying to justify cheating because she is your friend and nothing more because if we swap gender and say she was a he then you would not agree. ALso, cheating isn't a justification for all the things he did but leaving is and she didn't do that so she is weak and stupid.

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  • 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Her stupidity in staying does not excuse her choice to cheat.

    I’ve known too many people ignore constant wanting, advice and offers of help to have any sympathy for people that stay in toxic relationships

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  • Should have left him before cheating. Simple enough to do, and clearly what she wanted/needed in her life at that point. Cheating was an enabling excuse for the breakup.

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  • What a load of absolute crap. If your only argument is 'But... But.. They were worse!' then don't bother.

    No one's excusing shitty behavior in a relationship when they call out cheaters for what they are.

    Cheating is deceptive and it's lying. If your partner doesn't treat you right, then break up with them for crying out loud. Just because they're shitty, doesn't mean you need to be.

    Now your 'friend' could have done the right thing and people would have been sympathetic, don't complain because people aren't when she showed herself up for the deceptive liar that she is.

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  • I agree with the fact that the way he behaved is worse than being a one-time cheater, but your actions aren't justified just because someone else did something worse.

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What Girls Said 24

  • Because Carol is a good friend of yours you felt a need to defend her cheating, would you have done the same had it been Tom that cheated on Carol?
    Whatever happens in a relationship there's never a reason to cheat, the utmost in disrespect that you can't justify by everything Carol went through.
    Your heading " Give cheaters a break you're not perfect " shows disrespect towards anyone reading it, it sounds like you're pointing the finger at us because we don't condone cheating, also you add we're not perfect as though each and everyone of us made claims of being perfect.
    I get where you're coming from it's noble of you to defend your good friend Carol, just not at the risk of hurting other people.
    Last let me say, Carol didn't have to cheat, she could have at any time walked away from the relationship, or spoke with Tom about her intention to leave him, she knew in her heart it was over, it wouldn't have been cheating then.
    We make poor decisions when our emotions control us, as with your decision to print this article, the heading could have been worded differently. Not one time did you say anything good about Tom, not one time did you say anything bad about Carol.
    Thank You

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  • You're more than within your right to find cheaters behaviour to be justifiable or acceptable, just as those who criticise cheaters are well within their right not to. Cheating has devastating impacts on the other party, when it happened to me my confidence was completely destroyed and I developed anxiety. There's never an excuse to cheat, if someone isn't happy in a relationship then leave it.

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  • What he has done was wrong, she should of just left him instead of cheating. My cousin went through hell.. Wayyy worse, did she cheat? No, instead she left him and had her family help her move on. Cheating is still bad no matter what but no one should judge someone because of it.

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  • None of what Tom did justifies her going out and cheating. She shouldn't have even let it escalate to that point of that was the case. If she was unhappy then she should've left Tom's piece of shit ass where he was and moved on with her life.

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  • There is no excuse for cheating. It doesn’t matter how horrible your partner is, it’s still not an excuse. Cheating is a reflection of your own character and nothing else. Your friend should have dumped him first and then she would have been free to sleep with whoever she wanted.

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  • They were both wrong. Not gonna pretend he’s not a total jerk. But also won’t act like this woman who allowed herself to be mistreated for several years was somehow excused to cheat rather than make the difficult but mature choice to end her relationship. That would be clear to all of us right?

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  • She should have dumped Tom first. Everything Tom did to her was good enough grounds alone to leave him. If she did, she'd be free to enjoy her life without guilt. Her ordeal's not justification for her "crime" which might become a habit if the next guy "does a Tom" on her too. Nonetheless, I am glad she left that relationship regardless of another man's existence. She definitely has to move on. I hope she truly learned from this experience.

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  • *She didn't know any better...
    Or did she?
    Almost all of the kids I teach know what's right and wrong in a relationship and they know cheating is wrong.

    How can a 21-year old then not realize cheating is wrong?
    Don't justify your friend's actions just because you love her. People we love also make shitty decisions and adults own up to them.

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  • She makes mistakes too, while he did a bunch of bad things it may not be an excuse, she probably does feel like shit already tho I understand. If I were her I know it’s hard but id suggest she tell him the relationship wasn’t working well

    But u are right as people we need pushers that help us not people who take us down, the less you feel understanded the worse it gets

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  • Carol obviously wasn’t happy. Carol should have just left him instead of getting that black on her morals forever.

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  • The old saying applies "forgive but don't forget".
    I personally would never be with a guy with a history of cheating and I wouldn't want a female friend who cheated around as I dont think she's trustworthy.

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  • No there's is never excuse for cheating. She should have left when he started stealing and stood up for herself then and not keep deceiving herself that things were going to get better..

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  • I hope for her that pretending that he is only horrible person in this story, will help her sleep at night.

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  • Thank you so much for this myTake. It changed my perspective completely of some cheaters. Tell Carol that she has so many supporters here at GaG and that we believe in her too.

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  • Tom is a garbage human being, what a jerk. I wish a fool would make my daughter cry, and see what it gets him. Where were her parents?

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  • You're right, I'm not perfect, but I'm not an untrustworthy, trashy, tasteless, selfish hoe-bag. I'm sorry, cheaters don't get a pass

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    • I get the emotional abuse stuff to an extent, but I'm not going to say that makes it "okay" to cheat. It's okay however to leave or to reach out for help.

  • That's why you should never cheat.. it makes the other person look good in comparison.

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  • Leave me if im not perfect. Dont stick your penis into someone else and then come back to me

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  • As much I feel for your friend, Carol, I still have to stand by my point, cheating is wrong. There's no way to go about it or justify that action.
    Yes, Tom is a real asshole and any amount of time spent with him is equate to being in hell. Which is why she should left him way sooner.
    However, being a victim of abuse myself, I understand how she felt, its easy for others to keep saying "its her fault, she should have left him earlier". No woman in her right mind wants to be abused in a relationship. But if there's a chance that he'll change for the better, we would likely take it. Unfortunately, things don't always go the way we want.
    Now, what you can do, is just be there for her. You're probably the only true friend she has right now. Your friend deserves a good man that respects and loves her back, not a "one-night stand" or affair that's gonna hurt her more.

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  • I still don't think her actions are justified. I think what she did was making a bad situation worse, but having been in a sticky situation myself, I know how much easier it is to tell someone to "just break up" than to actually do it. I definitely agree that Tom is the worse person of the two, accumulated, and that people need to stop condemning cheaters. I was just on another thread like this where people went as far as to claim that cheaters don't deserve love/happiness or that they should never under any circumstances be forgiven. And that... yeah, that shows much more about the person doing the judging than the person who cheated.

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