What Exactly IS Cheating?

I think I’m going to be giving a lot of disclaimers during this series. Here’s another one:
I am not the fidelity police and I’m not here to judge anyone. I am also not trying to persuade people to side with my own personal moral code; it’s okay if we disagree – makes the world a more interesting place, and it’s great for friendly debating!

The definition of cheating (by popular vote) is:
If you are in a monogamous relationship or you are married and both parties have agreed to be exclusive to one another – if they’ve both agreed not to date anyone else or sleep with anyone else and someone in the marriage/relationship breaks that promise (or vow, if we’re talking about marriage), that person is cheating.

I have my own definition of cheating:
Performing an act or doing something with someone else that your partner would consider detrimental to the relationship.

Ha! Confused yet?

What I mean by that is this:
You don’t have to be on a date with someone or have sex with someone to cheat. Cheating ALWAYS begins in the mind. Example: You’ve just had the usual 3 times per week mundane sex with your partner; it didn’t start out that way between the two of you, but now it’s routine and lacks excitement. You’re done and laying in bed, pretending to be asleep…what you’re really doing is thinking about that ex from college. You know, the one who would lift you up with his shoulders and PROPERLY go down on you with your back against the wall and legs wrapped around his neck (Damn! Lol. Good memories!). Or….that ex-girlfriend who has an awesome body – all “t and a” – and when you would get behind her, with every thrust, she would return it by throwing her ass back at you like it’s nobody’s business – and she loved sex with you anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Mmmm…nice fantasies, huh? THAT, my friends, is cheating! Think it’s okay to fantasize like this? Sure it is, if you’re single! But not so cool if you’re married/seriously involved – at least don’t do it if your partner is next to you (or under- or on top) in bed! Remember, sex starts with the mind, and in this woman’s/man’s mind, they are not only fantasizing about an ex; they’re doing it with their partner RIGHT NEXT TO THEM! How about if you’re thinking of sex with someone else in the middle of sex with your partner? Don’t think it’s cheating? Ask your partner how they would feel about your fantasizing! Don’t get me wrong, people fantasize – especially men – and they do it often. But it’s fleeting. It’s the girl who just rang them up at the register. It’s J-Lo. It’s Scarlett Johanssen, etc. That’s normal. What I described a few sentences up? THAT is going to lead to some hot sex at some point – probably with the person they’re fantasizing about!

There’s so many things that people consider to be “cheating” in a marriage/relationship. Gambling can be considered cheating. Allowing work to consume your life and your relationship can be considered cheating. Making every single thing but your relationship one of your priorities can be considered cheating. Yes, this is all true, trust me….mostly women thinking this way, but it doesn’t invalidate it!

There is emotional cheating as well. There’s just some things you cannot talk with your partner about – they just don’t understand, and sometimes you feel like even though you know they’re on your side, they just don’t get it…and they don’t get YOU, no matter how hard they try. You start conversing with a friend, your colleague, an acquaintance (all are of the opposite sex) about your issue(s). You begin to bond with this person because of what you’re sharing with them and their ability to empathize, how easy it is to talk with him/her, but more importantly, they REALLY understand you, and you know they don’t have an agenda like your spouse/partner does. Then one day you can’t reach them. You panic because this person has now become who you NEED to talk with; you don’t even see or sense the danger you’re in. You’re relieved when you finally reach him/her – you were so worried! You don’t want that to happen again, so now you’re emailing him/her from home when your partner is cooking, sleeping, or has stepped out – maybe YOU stepped out to go to CVS so you can get in touch with your friend. You bring your cell phone in the bathroom so you can either call or text them something quick – and sweet…something like, “Hey – super busy, but thanks so much for being there for me- you’re a good friend.” Can you all see the problem with this? If not, let me tell you what this is: Emotional Cheating! Which is far more dangerous than physical/sexual cheating…know why? When you are emotionally attached to someone, it is a VERY, VERY DIFFICULT bond to break, especially emotional bonds that have been created over a period of time. Think about it. Think about a person you connected with on so many levels, not just sexually. Think about how close you were/are to them and how much they meant/mean to you- think about how this person is/was there for you when NO ONE ELSE WAS/IS. I’ll wait.

Can you see how difficult it would be to break a bond of such nature? In my own little Sam-world, I personally don’t believe certain kinds of emotional bonds can EVER be broken. They may get buried with other “stuff” on top of it, but it’s always right there at the surface, ready to “come out and play” when it’s triggered by something, someone, an event, or a memory.

I don’t believe that monogamy is natural, not just for men, but women, too – I won’t go into an entire anthropology class about it, but just Google this, there’s a lot of research out there that supports this theory. It can’t be natural for men (this is the Gospel according to Sam) – they’ve got testosterone and libido as supporting evidence! Seriously, monogamy is a personal choice, not a necessity; don’t allow anyone – don’t allow society to dictate how you choose to live, whether it’s a monogamous life, a sometimes monogamous life, a swinging life, or a polygamous life: only YOU know what’s right for you, no matter what anyone else thinks cheating is- just be honest and true to yourself, and with your partner, if it’s possible (and won’t cause you physical harm!). As my girl Riri and the rapper TI says, “Live your life…ay, ay, ay!”

Next post (later this evening/tonight): When is it okay to cheat?
Will be a good one!


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