Building Love & Commitment in an Age Where Cheating is the Norm

Building Love & Commitment in an Age Where Cheating is the Norm

Hi there. I don't write a lot so forgive me if this isn't that well written. Nothing here is the ultimate truth, it's just my perspective. I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology, but I am by no means an expert on human behavior.

I'm divorced, and there were many things that lead to that divorce that were the fault of me and my wife, and more things that weren't the fault of anyone. Cheating was one of the major reasons. We both cheated on each other at different points in the relationship, and to different extremes. A year has gone by since we separated and I find myself reflecting more and more on what drove us to cheat, and if its possible to avoid it in the future for either of us as we head in different directions.

I see a lot of posts on here that just make me shake my head. A lot of people just don't get it. Some ask if giving blowjobs is cheating, as though cheating on your partner is only the most extreme physical actions like intercourse. On the complete other end of the spectrum you have the people who react so extreme to their partner slightly flirting with their coworker via text, and think that they must break up and that their partner is a terrible person, so different from themselves, and will be doomed to cheat forever. Neither of those extremes are healthy or realistic.

Building Love & Commitment in an Age Where Cheating is the Norm

First, I need to define what I mean by cheating. To me, you cheat if you betray your partner. If you take part in behavior that you know your partner would not want you to, &/or that you wouldn't want your partner to. It can be as simple as flirting or even becoming better friends with someone else over your partner (emotional affair). Someone complimenting you, and you eating it up and encouraging it can be cheating, in a way, if you partner feels betrayed. You may disagree, but if you think about your partner eating up compliments from an attractive person instead of keeping things strictly platonic, you likely can understand how that might be cheating, in some ways.

So, we could argue about where to draw the line for hours, but for the sake of this article, I'm defining cheating as any behavior with a person that isn't your partner, that would make your partner feel second best or betrayed. The best thing to do is to discuss this with your partner and decide where you want to draw the line yourselves.

Second, let's get this straight: everyone, and I mean eeevvverryonne is susceptible to cheating. There is no human being alive that is completely immune to it. Get that through your head now. You are susceptible to it in the right circumstances. The likelihood of you, no matter who you are, how you were raised, what you believe, how often you pray, etc... making it through a long term relationship without ever cheating, is low. The longer the relationship lasts, the less likely you will not cheat at all.

I attribute this to 3 primary reasons:

1. People are less religious than they have been in a long, long time.

To me, an athiest, that's good. Religion oppresses people so they think any sexual thought or feeling is a sin. So even though more people cheating is a negative consequence of less religion in the world, it's certainly better than a repressed world.

2. We get bored faster.

This is a fast-paced, high-substance age, where we are always doing something, watching something, going somewhere. Do you notice that kids get tired of their toys faster than you did? Faster than your parents or grandparents did of their toys? We have abundance, so we get tired of what we have a lot faster. People keep their cars for fewer years, keep their jobs for fewer years, and I believe that spills over into relationships. I truly believe my grandparents and their grandparents were better at not taking their spouse for granted than we are. They had less stimulation, less change, less societal messages that it's OK to get tired of everything in your life after a while.

3. The biggest reason: It's wayyy too easy to cheat.

It's literally always there. We are so connected, a potential sexual interest is always a few taps away. There is an old saying, and song lyric, "The wolf is always at the door." This scares me the most when I think about trying to have a faithful relationship in the future. How does one do that today, when multiple interested people are always right there waiting for you, and your spouse. In our parent's and grandparent's day, yes cheating happened, but things had to line up. You usually had to actually go somewhere and meet someone to cheat, to even begin to have an emotional affair... which was hard to do because your spouse was home more than we are today.

Building Love & Commitment in an Age Where Cheating is the Norm

In contrast, today we're working more, spending more time apart from our spouses, and cheating, as I mentioned earlier, is always right there at your fingertips. I am not very attractive. I have a physical disability and look like a potato on wheels, and yet I had 5 or 6 women show sexual interest in me during the short 5 years I was with my wife. That's how prevalent cheating is in the digital age. In our grandparents day, a guy like me, in a wheelchair, not particularly attractive, would've had a much, MUCH lower chance of even just one woman showing interest in me during a short 5 years. But we're SO connected, we're so instant, and any time you fight with your spouse, any time you're in a rut in your relationship, any time you feel neglected, or not attractive to your spouse, any time your relationship is boring or not exciting... there's someone right there, a text away, to make you feel young and sexy again, to make your heart beat fast and to make you feel that thrill of someone new being interested in you.


So, what do we do with this knowledge? How do we move forward into new relationships... knowing that most relationship will experience cheating at some point. Knowing that it's extremely unlikely for your new relationship to last year and years, without your partner cheating on you? Do we just give up on commitment?

I think we have to change how easily we enter into relationships. I think we ignore how prevalent cheating is, we long so strongly for that next relationship that we willingly pretend that we don't know how likely it is that cheating will creep into that relationship. We have to stop that. We have to be honest about our relationships, and about each other, or we doom ourselves to make mistakes in the dark, in secret, and ultimately be heart broken.

I think each of us has to be honest that we're susceptible to cheating, and OWN that when we agree to start a relationship. We have to have that honest conversation with ourselves "Am I really ready to deny attention from others for as long as I'm committed to this person, even when the relationship isn't easy, even when my partner isn't giving me everything I need?"

Building Love & Commitment in an Age Where Cheating is the Norm

If you can't answer yes to that, you need to say no to the relationship. period. it's that easy.

Somehow, my wife got it in her mind that even though she married me, if I wasn't giving her enough sex she had the right to get it elsewhere. I'm sorry, but no. I wasn't the perfect husband... but the marriage vows literally mean you commit to that person no matter what, for the rest of your life. That is your person. You're going to go through periods where your partner has a very low sex drive. You're going to go through periods where your partner is stressed, angry, overworked, sick, absent minded... you can't just throw out your vows as soon as one of those things, or others, happens. The answer to all of this is stop BEFORE you make the commitment. You need to test yourself, test your partner, test your relationship before you make that agreement.

No wishful thinking, no rose colored glasses, no love goggles. Be real about temptation, about how nearly impossible it is to make it years and years without someone else turning your head or your partners head. Just say no, until you really are ready.


3|3
1224

Most Helpful Girl

  • HERE IS THE ANSWER EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW!! people CHEAT BECAUSE

    ... they are not really in love.

    Its hard to even genuinely like most people these days because half the world puts up a bravado and is never 100% themselves. And on the rare chance you do find somebody who you just click with, they may not feel the same. Both people have to be completely in love with one another the entire time that they are together, so you have to continue to do things for one another to keep the love alive and a lot of people fail at that. Thats why I dont completely disregard guys arguements that they cheat because their womans stops having sex with them because denying sex makes a person feel unattractive and unloved. Its still not right though. Cheating is never right. Its just not easy to find our soulmate so in order to not be alone for who knows how long if not the rest of their life, the average person will settle. And thats why they aren't in love. So dont settle for less. And that doesn't mean that you have to be with somebody who is a perfect ten or has the most money becUse I was in love with a guy who wasn't all that, he was kind of chubby and he was broke. The reason it disnt work out though, is that he most likely didn't love me as much as I loved him. You BOTH have to be totally in love and thats hard. Thats really hard. The only way to not cheat on each other is for both people to stick it out when things are bad and try to keep things as good as possible and want each other.

    3|1
    0|1
    • ask any woman and she will say " i dont give a shit about looks, personality is what matters " then she starts babbling about her boyfriend who's 6/10 at best and is a really cool dude with great qualities and she's so blessed to have someone like him in her life... then observe the same woman with her friends or even when she's alone and you will see her drooling over guys that are 10x times hotter than her boyfriend, for a simple reason : she chose to be a with she is not attracted to for one reason or another and is looking for that attraction somewhere else.

      and ask most men and they will say " i want her with a strong character, she doesn't have to cook, clean or even be super feminine" and these same men a few years later start feeling like shit for marrying a woman who wants to be the man in the relationship and refuses to even think about compromising with her husband or treating him like a man... and that same husband will go look for a more feminine laid back chick.

    • I don't know if it's that hard, it's just that we are all so ill and gender relations are so bad. The best chance is two people who have never been in a relationship before, they have the best chance statistically of staying together forever. People just need to stop hooking up because pop culture tells them to and do what is healthy which is don't enter a relationship and have sex until you are ready for the commitment that comes with it

    • i differ from 80% of people , my standards, views and opinions while dont hurt anyone are considered even by my friends to be a bit on the extreme side, iam picky really picky, and for one simple reason : IAM SERIOUS ABOUT WHO I DATE ! , i dont go around dating random girls, when i date you you can be sure iam considiring marrying you in the future if it works out between us, and i take marriage very seriously if iam not 100% conviced and she's not 100% conviced in being together it can never work.

Most Helpful Guy

  • I have a few comments on this. First, I think it was well written. I think I followed all you were saying.

    Second, I agree with your reasons for why cheating is easier now than it used to be years ago.

    I don't however agree that cheating is inevitable. There are still people that really do commit to each other. I personally went through a long period with my ex-wife where things were not good and I did not cheat on her. I had female friends I did (non-sexual) things with but that was with my ex-wife's approval and even encouragement so that doesn't meet your definition since she was happy about it. I was, for instance, going hiking with someone else and she was OK with that even if it was a woman because she didn't want to go and wanted time to herself anyway so it was good for both of us for me to do that.

    Eventually we got divorced because it became obvious that the period where things weren't good was not a short term thing, but permanent, but while I was still committed to her I did not violate my commitment to her even during difficult times. I have always been a "one woman at a time" kind of guy. That doesn't mean I don't have other female friends, but it does mean that my partner is my top priority and my only sex partner.

    I also believe that my current girlfriend is committed to me and will not cheat as long as we're committed to each other and both working on keeping our relationship going. Sure, if I start treating her like crap she could go looking for someone else, as could I if she started treating me like crap, but I feel pretty confident that as long as we're making a serious effort to keep our relationship strong there will be no cheating on either side.

    4|1
    0|0

Recommended myTakes

Loading...

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 11

  • Unfortunately the internet does make it easier to cheat.
    Craigslist is the worst 😞.
    Cheating isn't considered the norm by the way, there is nothing normal about breaking someone's heart the one that you've made a vow in front of your nearest and dearest to love and honor, for better or worse.

    0|1
    0|0
  • This is one of the few mytakes with a topic worth discussing.

    I think you overall make good points and identify some issues (values) in out society today that exacerbates such traits.
    However, I agree with what @CallMeDave wrote, and therefore do not agree with you in the sense that cheating is inevitable.

    Is there a lot of people doing it? Apparently there are.
    Is it easier than before to find someone to have fun with? Probably, but it doesn't mean you have to engage in it if you don't want to.
    In the end it all comes down to willpower and you cannot really use the circumstances as an excuse for poor behaviour.
    I don't believe cheating is something that "just happens" without the person wanting it to happen.

    I can tell you that just because I'm in relationship, I won't stop complimenting someone on their appearance or on a job well done, etc. Neither will I stop thanking people and welcoming a compliment because it's "cheating". That's silly.
    If course I'm talking about regular compliments, not catcalling and the like.

    1|1
    0|0
  • It's not hard just to be faithful, some people just don't have self control. If you are physically attracted and emotionally attracted too your partner there is no reason to cheat. I wouldn't do that to some one I truly love. An NO I wouldn't get bored.

    3|2
    0|0
  • Plain and simple if your going to cheat on your partner he/she does NOT deserve that and you are better off leaving spare them the hurt and depression whatever may go along with it. I have been cheated on before and I rather be broken up with instead of being cheated on both hurt but cheating is worse.

    1|1
    0|0
  • This was well written but I don't agree that cheating is something we have to accept as being normal. I'm not saying I can predict the future but I have self-control and basic social awareness and it's really not that hard to stay faithful if you WANT to be faithful...

    2|3
    0|0
  • Interesting Take, you make some good points, commitment isn't easy and you should never enter a relationship with the mindset of breaking those and vows made, the pain it causes to the other person is never worth a few moments/months of pleasure with another. Be upfront and tell the person if you are losing interest in them, it will hurt but less than cheating on them.

    1|1
    0|0
  • 1. is definitely not good and its not a repression cause choosing a faith is someone's choice, but if you asked me, since we've removed God pretty much out of everything, the world has gotten shitier. People are colder now and lack morals, that's why casual sex is at all time high, stds, unwanted pregancy, broken homes, and borken hearted people are everywhere now a days.

    0|0
    0|0
  • Fortunately, my s/o and I both don't feel betrayed or count that as cheating when we compliment someone or so much as look their direction.

    0|0
    0|0
  • I do not agree. When you cheat you are a weak person with low morals. People cheat yes, because they are weak and don't know what they want with zero respect for their partner. You are correct that this society makes it much easier to cheat for those weak hearted people.

    However I could never imagine cheating on my man, even though we have a ldr going for almost 2 years. I am an attractive girl working in a male dominated field. I get tons of offers. Even completely shitfaced and surrounded by handsome guys I wouldn't even think about cheating.

    I don't give a fuck about what is normal in this society nowadays. You really love someone? You don't cheat. Simple as that.

    1|0
    0|0
  • Sorry, I think this is total shit.

    0|0
    0|1
  • Show more from Girls
    1

What Guys Said 23

  • I have to be short in the comment, so I'll break the cheating subject into 2 parts: 1. Lack of values and ethics. 2. Lack of communication.
    First let me say this, I entirely disagree with you. I think you have been bruised by your past relationship and you are putting everyone else in the same sack but we are all different, I entirely disagree with you when you say we are all equal, in your words we would all cheat regardless of our beliefs, cultures, values, NO, that isn't the truth at all and some of us, still the majority of us, is able to vow to our partner and to our relationship based on the principles and values that were passed on to us by our family and most times the values we built as a core of our relationship. If you're lacking a strong personality and you can't be loyal to your own values, you're influenced by your pupils that you make irresponsible decisions, then you're predisposed to cheat but even then, I think communication can rescue relationships like it.
    I believe the cheating subject can be brought up from day 1: values, ethics, childhood/family are some of the topics you should talk about in your first days of relationship. You must make eachother aware of how you feel about violating trust and cheating and cement trust and honesty from there. The problem is this topic is a taboo for a lot of couples. Cheating is a real thing and it needs to be addressed in a serious way, most will know it's ethically wrong but aren't emotionally balanced to deal with it and courageous/smart enough to back off especially during hard times, and you clearly weren't. Every relationship has its hard days, some relationships only have hard days, but love can supersede all of that, all couples need to be made aware of that. And even if then it doesn't work out and one of the sides remains unhappy and wants to opt out because there's plenty more fish in the sea or he/she has an interest in someone else then the option to terminate is always there (for most developed cultures where cheating happens). Weddings mean nothing, they shouldn't stop anyone from being happy and who ever marries needs to understand that real vows happen on your daily basis not in front of family and a priest.
    I guess my point is cheating can easily be avoided, with the right partner, attitude and communication, you'll be an happy couple. The day you stop being happy, talk it through and if needs be it, break up your way but never disrespect your partner by cheating.

    2|0
    0|0
  • Well, there is hypergamy. A woman will fuck anyone they want, anywhere they want, any time they want. Just ask them!

    Otherwise it's not too bad - yes, people have completely unrealistic expectations about what a romantic man-woman relationship is really about. It comes from a whole host of reasons, but mostly how society has drilled into them that they DESERVE something, that love is a dream world and you'll swept off your feet by prince charming. FAIL

    1|0
    0|0
  • Uhhhhmmmm, remember guys. Cheating is not normal. It never will be considered normal. Being single for almost 7 years...

    I think people who cheat, are not morally or emotionally peiced together right. I am proud to say i have never cheated even when i wasn't in love i could easily choose the right thing to do.

    The rest of you who couldnt. Are fucking stupid and i spit at your feet. Look down at your weakness

    1|0
    0|0
  • I think that cheating has been going on forever... Technology now has put more of a spotlight on it. Not so sure about the connection between religion and cheating. Some of the worst offenders are religious leaders.

    2|0
    0|0
  • I started off liking your take until you started bashing on people who have faith. I don't mind atheists but you just HAD to put down faith based organizations with "there is less religion so that is good" comment.

    Yes atheism is winning nowadays I don't deny that. But if you think religion is poison than you are painting us all with a wide brush.

    0|0
    0|0
  • You borrow a lot of material from religion. Stop fornicating. Just say no, and practice no. Don't be a sycophant, don't be Jim Carey's "Yes Man". Say no, kids. Why is this so difficult? Furthermore, confess. Forgive. Reflect on what you should have done different. Commit. It takes practice, there isn't a quick fix.

    1|0
    0|0
  • We are lesser than humanity ever has been in morals due to no surprise... media influence.. greed, lust, money and selfishness.

    I wonder what people tell themselves in order to justify such actions.

    1|0
    0|0
  • I don't think cheating is the norm. Not every split is due to cheating.

    3|1
    0|0
  • Cheating is only the norm in people with the emotional maturity of a teaspoon. Anyone who actually is in love would never even dream of cheating on their partner

    1|0
    0|0
  • people ignore the red flags, a lot of guys are more than happy staying with a girl they find hot despite having a lot of red flags, and the reason? They dont think these red flags make sense... "she has guy friends, she smokes and drinks a lot, she parties till 3 in the morning, she dated 5 guys in the past few years... so what? that doesn't make her a bad girlfriend " .

    and girls are not much better either they choose guys that pretty much have " iam not gonna be yours " on their forhead.

    cheating happens but the problem is that more and more people are ignoring the signs of a cheater and go for that person because i have no idea why.

    2|2
    0|0
  • Show more from Guys
    13

Recommended Questions

Loading...