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What Is it About Cheating...?

Find support here if your partner is in limerence, having an affair or love addicted.
JupiterTaco
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What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by JupiterTaco » Mon May 28, 2018 8:41 pm

What is it about cheating that makes the very essence of family seem to fall apart, even if the couple stays together? Is it the loss of trust? Is it the loss of illusion of a perfect family? Safety? Sense of normalcy? The idea that who you're being trained to be, or training your own kids to be, is totally run roughshod?
Last edited by JupiterTaco on Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
"God grant me the serenity, to just remember who I am"-Games People Play by Joe South

L-F
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Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by L-F » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:02 am

I can't really add much to this JT because I only knew of my parents who cheated. Goodness knows how many others in the family? Goes to show how dysfunctional and damaged people are, and how damaging it is to the children. I can only speak for myself because it really screwed me over and that was when I was an adult and could comprehend it. When I was a child I was oblivious, yet those small things remained. Like the look one parent gives a stranger (lover) which is totally different to how they look at their spouse. Those small things are noticed yet not understood until years later.

It amazes me how people underestimate the intelligence of children. I remember reading somewhere that humans are 100% accurate at locating the object that someone is looking at, so if someone is not aware that they are being watched... you get the picture. Those kind of things are imprinted in the childs mind. You can only image limerents looking at their LO while their children are around. The thing is, adults tend to think these things 'don't really matter'. They do! They did for me and countless others who had a damaged childhood due to 'wandering eyes' and other things.

Not to mention the fact our body language displays our unconscious desires. So in other words, when LO and children are in the same area... make sure to remove the children.


On a different note, I believe cheating is about the self. For example, if I cheated I wouldn't trust myself, not anyone else. Does this make sense? IDK... cheating is such a hot topic. Sorry to hear of all the cheating in your family.
When you are external facing,
how do you expect to do the inner work? :-??

Rocinante
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Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by Rocinante » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:53 am

Hey JT,

I think I can speak to this because cheating was similarly rampant (my Dad cheating on my Mum, frequently) in my family where I was an only child.

So I mean, I think, for starters, think of the counterfactual hypothetical scenario: what if we lived in a science fiction / Black Mirror sort of world, where everyone cheated, lied, was dishonest with their spouse, and the spouses did the same thing, and it was normal. But everyone kinda knew, and even a wife or husband wasn't supposed to ask their spouse, so gossip flourished about you or your husband/wife/partner, with you always the last to know. It's barely possible to even think how that could work without a societal breakdown.

So this makes me think, well, what's so bad about cheating, then? is it the sex, or the dishonesty?

My money would be on the dishonesty.

People do have polyamorous relationships where everything is open, consensual, negotiated, known in advance, and enthusiastically agreed upon, and these work like more logistically complicated versions of monogamous relationships. (I've had polyamorous relationships in the past, but i realized for various reasons I prefer a monogamous one). And cheating — going behind one or more partners' backs — is just as destructive in a polyamorous relationship as it is in a monogamous one. In polyamorous relationships, there is usually some level of enthusiasm or happiness for the other person's other relationships. But it's the lying part of cheating that actually turns your partner sleeping with someone else from something you're happy or neutral about, into something you're furious about.

I think the lying obviously erodes trust, creating constant tension, which lasts a long time as lying at that level — which necessarily involves hundreds of lies — involves crossing a line that can't be uncrossed, with a lot of ricochet between adults, kids, outside partners, etc.

I think two things make me really angry about my Dad's cheating on my Mum. First, obviously, it hurt my mother and she didn't deserve that, just because she's not the most compatible partner for my Dad that my Dad couldnt sustain romantic interest in.

But the hardest part for me, was that my Dad actually took me on his little cheating ventures (God knows why he thought I would't say anything). And then I remember once having the naivete, as a five year old, from some motel room, to call my mother over the motel phone, and tell her all about this trip where we had met this really nice woman who had a cabin in the woods where she let us stay for a few nights and.... my Dad ripped the phone away from my hands and made a lame excuse like "Oh, Rossi dropped the phone." I was so completely puzzled. When he hung up he explained to me the ways of the world: "don't tell your mother about other women we stay with." This wasn't a suggestion, but obviously something I could be in serious trouble over, that we might break up as a family or something (with the implication: my fault). As far as I'm concerned, this is child abuse. Apparently socially acceptable child abuse at the time, but child abuse nonetheless.

I think it was also a harmful "lesson" in that it obviously implied that my Dad's gratification (male gratification) is intrinsically more important than women's.

And what's worst about normalizing it, is that up until I was 27 or so, I cheated on my girlfriend a bunch of times, because those childhood experiences made it easy to do without feeling bad. Or, feeling slightly guilty, but no real harm done (to people who were in love with you or at least attracted to you). Rather than deal with a problem of the relationship becoming less sexy or whatever, or tensions, this is how I acted out.

The worst part is that I think those early childhood scenes somehow changed my brain, made it easy to become disassociative. I can really slip into a brain mode where parts of reality aren't actually real or happening. Like for instance, when cheating on my partner, I didn't feel bad during it, like some people do, because I could "block off" the whole reality that I had a partner. I felt bad afterwards, which I could then remedy by pretending to myself that the side person didn't exist. I was basically terrible — my then-girlfriend had to have her heart torn apart several times until it got through to me that we're in one reality and that cheating harms other people and destroys their self-esteem and self image and trust in others, not just you.

I haven't done anything like this since. I would rather let anything else end the relationship than cheating. I would rather my partner tell me if she wanted to sleep with someone else. One reason the LE i'm having is really awful is because I feel so guilty. All the spacing out I do or "being elsewhere" with thoughts of the LO make me feel like it is cheating, even if it's unreciprocated / impossible to consummate.

Today my Dad, at 80, is kind of a pathetic guy. He says he feels bad about doing this to my mother and I, but secretly, he's proud of it, or it makes up his "what a wild life I've had" self-image. He self-published a book, just one of those "make 5 copies" places, given to family members, detailing his growing up in the past, before my mother, which was pretty interesting.

But here's what's weird and super gross: But he made a second one that chronicles the time when he was married to my mother, and it's almost nothing but all the affairs he had. Talk about weird: He made one copy of the book for himself and the other for me. Just like we were back at that stupid motel room.

I feel sorry for him as well as creeped out by him. It's like, this really does make up the important part of what he considers his time on earth, sleeping around and lying to everyone about it, what a big stud he is / was. He only did this this year and my respect for him has really diminished. I'm planning to tell him on Fathers' Day (tomorrow) that I feel this way.

Ultimately, my healing is my own adult responsibility, which I am taking on, but I think his model of love that he normalized for me stunted my development as a relationship partner. My Dad clearly idealizes scoring with Woman A or Woman B, which I'm sure really helped along my massively anxious attachment style, where women are disposable but at the same time goddesslike and put on a pedestal but not really human — great for encouraging limerent attachment I'm sure.

It's just gross all around, and also way TMI from one's father.
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RECLUDET PRATERITIS! <-- Current mantra / magic spell ("Quarantine the past!")

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NaturalezaMuerta
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Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by NaturalezaMuerta » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:21 pm

Interesting topic...I come from the family culture of marriage is for life and cheating is expected. It is also this norm that affairs should not break marriages up. Marriage is a long term commitment, the other is just circumstantial fluff.

My mom had at least one affair with her boss when my dad was in the throes of depression. My grandparents had affairs on each other. Since I can remember, my mom told me that I was a woman that men marry, but not to expect fidelity. Sometimes I wonder how she would react if I told her about this LE.

I think this has created a duality if sorts, a “have your cake and eat it too” mentality about this LE. I can have both without destroying my marriage. I talked to my SO about it and he reflected how different his family culture is. He is not opposed to us sleeping with other people, but he is not ok with lying and cheating. I still hold the fantasy that a “don’t ask/don’t tell” strategy could work. And that is the linerbeast talking :-q
They are not responding to you and you are not responding to them. *-:)

Radey
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Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by Radey » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:55 pm

I don’t condone cheating and I felt really bad that I was limerent over my exLO. The question that I find difficult to answer is ‘Is it fair to expect an average person who gets married in their early 20s to have sex with one person for 60 years if they live to their 80s?’ Is this realistic? Should society give room for a few distractions without needing to break the marriage?

L-F
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Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by L-F » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:44 pm

Rocinante wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:53 am
Hey JT,

I think I can speak to this because cheating was similarly rampant (my Dad cheating on my Mum, frequently) in my family where I was an only child.

So I mean, I think, for starters, think of the counterfactual hypothetical scenario: what if we lived in a science fiction / Black Mirror sort of world, where everyone cheated, lied, was dishonest with their spouse, and the spouses did the same thing, and it was normal. But everyone kinda knew, and even a wife or husband wasn't supposed to ask their spouse, so gossip flourished about you or your husband/wife/partner, with you always the last to know. It's barely possible to even think how that could work without a societal breakdown.

So this makes me think, well, what's so bad about cheating, then? is it the sex, or the dishonesty?

My money would be on the dishonesty.

People do have polyamorous relationships where everything is open, consensual, negotiated, known in advance, and enthusiastically agreed upon, and these work like more logistically complicated versions of monogamous relationships. (I've had polyamorous relationships in the past, but i realized for various reasons I prefer a monogamous one). And cheating — going behind one or more partners' backs — is just as destructive in a polyamorous relationship as it is in a monogamous one. In polyamorous relationships, there is usually some level of enthusiasm or happiness for the other person's other relationships. But it's the lying part of cheating that actually turns your partner sleeping with someone else from something you're happy or neutral about, into something you're furious about.

I think the lying obviously erodes trust, creating constant tension, which lasts a long time as lying at that level — which necessarily involves hundreds of lies — involves crossing a line that can't be uncrossed, with a lot of ricochet between adults, kids, outside partners, etc.

I think two things make me really angry about my Dad's cheating on my Mum. First, obviously, it hurt my mother and she didn't deserve that, just because she's not the most compatible partner for my Dad that my Dad couldnt sustain romantic interest in.

But the hardest part for me, was that my Dad actually took me on his little cheating ventures (God knows why he thought I would't say anything). And then I remember once having the naivete, as a five year old, from some motel room, to call my mother over the motel phone, and tell her all about this trip where we had met this really nice woman who had a cabin in the woods where she let us stay for a few nights and.... my Dad ripped the phone away from my hands and made a lame excuse like "Oh, Rossi dropped the phone." I was so completely puzzled. When he hung up he explained to me the ways of the world: "don't tell your mother about other women we stay with." This wasn't a suggestion, but obviously something I could be in serious trouble over, that we might break up as a family or something (with the implication: my fault). As far as I'm concerned, this is child abuse. Apparently socially acceptable child abuse at the time, but child abuse nonetheless.

I think it was also a harmful "lesson" in that it obviously implied that my Dad's gratification (male gratification) is intrinsically more important than women's.

And what's worst about normalizing it, is that up until I was 27 or so, I cheated on my girlfriend a bunch of times, because those childhood experiences made it easy to do without feeling bad. Or, feeling slightly guilty, but no real harm done (to people who were in love with you or at least attracted to you). Rather than deal with a problem of the relationship becoming less sexy or whatever, or tensions, this is how I acted out.

The worst part is that I think those early childhood scenes somehow changed my brain, made it easy to become disassociative. I can really slip into a brain mode where parts of reality aren't actually real or happening. Like for instance, when cheating on my partner, I didn't feel bad during it, like some people do, because I could "block off" the whole reality that I had a partner. I felt bad afterwards, which I could then remedy by pretending to myself that the side person didn't exist. I was basically terrible — my then-girlfriend had to have her heart torn apart several times until it got through to me that we're in one reality and that cheating harms other people and destroys their self-esteem and self image and trust in others, not just you.

I haven't done anything like this since. I would rather let anything else end the relationship than cheating. I would rather my partner tell me if she wanted to sleep with someone else. One reason the LE i'm having is really awful is because I feel so guilty. All the spacing out I do or "being elsewhere" with thoughts of the LO make me feel like it is cheating, even if it's unreciprocated / impossible to consummate.

Today my Dad, at 80, is kind of a pathetic guy. He says he feels bad about doing this to my mother and I, but secretly, he's proud of it, or it makes up his "what a wild life I've had" self-image. He self-published a book, just one of those "make 5 copies" places, given to family members, detailing his growing up in the past, before my mother, which was pretty interesting.

But here's what's weird and super gross: But he made a second one that chronicles the time when he was married to my mother, and it's almost nothing but all the affairs he had. Talk about weird: He made one copy of the book for himself and the other for me. Just like we were back at that stupid motel room.

I feel sorry for him as well as creeped out by him. It's like, this really does make up the important part of what he considers his time on earth, sleeping around and lying to everyone about it, what a big stud he is / was. He only did this this year and my respect for him has really diminished. I'm planning to tell him on Fathers' Day (tomorrow) that I feel this way.

Ultimately, my healing is my own adult responsibility, which I am taking on, but I think his model of love that he normalized for me stunted my development as a relationship partner. My Dad clearly idealizes scoring with Woman A or Woman B, which I'm sure really helped along my massively anxious attachment style, where women are disposable but at the same time goddesslike and put on a pedestal but not really human — great for encouraging limerent attachment I'm sure.

It's just gross all around, and also way TMI from one's father.
Oh R! I empathize with you. Sounds like we have the same father.
When you are external facing,
how do you expect to do the inner work? :-??

L-F
Posts: 1744
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:55 am
United States of America

Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by L-F » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:15 am

Radey wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:55 pm
I don’t condone cheating and I felt really bad that I was limerent over my exLO. The question that I find difficult to answer is ‘Is it fair to expect an average person who gets married in their early 20s to have sex with one person for 60 years if they live to their 80s?’ Is this realistic? Should society give room for a few distractions without needing to break the marriage?
If it doesn't harm the children. I think we need to consider them first and foremost. I've seen too many families damaged because of adult behavior.
When you are external facing,
how do you expect to do the inner work? :-??

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NaturalezaMuerta
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Mexico

Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by NaturalezaMuerta » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:21 am

Radey wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:55 pm
I don’t condone cheating and I felt really bad that I was limerent over my exLO. The question that I find difficult to answer is ‘Is it fair to expect an average person who gets married in their early 20s to have sex with one person for 60 years if they live to their 80s?’ Is this realistic? Should society give room for a few distractions without needing to break the marriage?
This is the crux of the issue. I think it is the ultimate desire of humans to "civilize" their biology. And in most cases it fails miserably without work and commitment.
They are not responding to you and you are not responding to them. *-:)

L-F
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Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by L-F » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:13 am

NaturalezaMuerta wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:21 am
Radey wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:55 pm
I don’t condone cheating and I felt really bad that I was limerent over my exLO. The question that I find difficult to answer is ‘Is it fair to expect an average person who gets married in their early 20s to have sex with one person for 60 years if they live to their 80s?’ Is this realistic? Should society give room for a few distractions without needing to break the marriage?
This is the crux of the issue. I think it is the ultimate desire of humans to "civilize" their biology. And in most cases it fails miserably without work and commitment.
I think it's more about recognising one is polygamous and living their life accordingly. No point getting into a het marriage if you want to spread your wings. I know a few poly, and happy, couples. I prefer a monogamous relationship myself, even though I have the choice. I don't think it boils down to biology, physiology or anything other than free will.
When you are external facing,
how do you expect to do the inner work? :-??

JupiterTaco
Posts: 3194
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:12 pm
United States of America

Re: What Is it About Cheating...?

Post by JupiterTaco » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:51 pm

True, I think many people prefer monogamy, but it's hard to tell if it was pressured by society, given the prejudice that poly people can get. Also if one hasn't worked through their own stuff, obviously these things would be harder.
"God grant me the serenity, to just remember who I am"-Games People Play by Joe South

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