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Cheating...a hot topic

20 June 2013 13 comments

I knew last week's post re my views on cheating was going to be controversial but I didn't realise the magnitude and depth of comments nor the level of debate it would incite! Apart from many comments in open forums like Facebook I also received many private msg's and emails. By Friday night, and with so many msg's, my head was spinning...and then I received a txt msg from a close friend who is married; "are you in town Mal...I'd like you to meet my girlfriend".

I called my friend. His wife apparently knew about his affair as the girlfriend had txt'd the wife a week earlier (it turns out that this is a common way of being caught cheating). His wife then had gone through his emails and files on his laptop and found dozens of pics of prostitutes and girls he'd met on websites that he'd cheated on her with. Geez...it was hard to imagine his life had just been turned upside down and he'd been the master of its demise! For a really clever guy I couldn't believe how stupid he was...not getting caught but actually doing what he'd done. And what I found very heartbreaking was that I'm really fond of his little boy who only started walking a few months ago.

Realities of cheatingRealities of cheating

So on Saturday morning before heading to the gym I met him and his girlfriend for breakfast. Whilst I agreed she was gorgeous I let him know that it was completely irrelevant! I told him so when I pulled him out of the café so that I could talk with him in private. I also told him that he needed to immediately break up with her and crawl back to his wife and plead forgiveness. I knew his wife loved him and I knew there was a slim chance she'd forgive him (please note this should never be assumed...and also note that once trust has been broken it can take many years to resurrect). I insisted he think of his little boy. I resisted the urge to slap some sense into him. At the end of the day he acknowledged that he'd f_ck'd up and said he was totally confused. He hadn't slept for days, looked like a train wreck and had reached out to me for support and advice.

At noon on Sunday I received a heart wrenching txt msg from his wife pleading to see her and help her save her marriage. I then spent the next 10 hours with her crying most of the time. It was so depressing that I too at times shed a few tears. She was adamant she'd take her husband back and would try and work things out with him. The day ended with both her and I huddled under an umbrella in the rain at her car in the front of my apartment, with her sobbing and with me trying to reassure her that I was going to help them both save their marriage.

He hasn't left the girlfriend yet but plans to this week. I've offered him to stay at my apartment for a while until he sorts things out with his wife. Seeing firsthand the devastating effect cheating can have, especially after posting my blog a day prior, was very confronting!

One of the comments I received from last week's blog post was from Pauline Ranger. In reference to 2 other friends I know are cheating she said I should "step up and tell their wives". Melissa North didn't agree with Pauline's comment and she said "Mates need someone to talk to and if they come to you for guidance, you appreciate they trust in you being confidential about what they're sharing with you, whatever your personal opinion is. That's what friends are for, good ones, anyway".

On Sunday with my friends wife crying on my shoulder I did wonder if I should have told her about the affair earlier as I had known about it for a few months. I did however realize that I shared the same view as Melissa. The outcome wouldn't have been much different other than I may have lost them both as a friend. Instead, I now see it as my job to help them sort things out.

My friend Beverly Clarke made some really interesting comments re last week's blog. She owns Mackenzie's of Perth....a Gentlemen's Day spa and escort service http://www.mackenzies.com.au. She said; "Due to my business a number of men either married or in relationships talk to me and 9 times out of 10 they say their wives are pushing them away. They would prefer to be intimate with their partners but don't want to beg or suffer rejection. Unfortunately often a game is being played in with intimacy being used as reward and punishment".

I too have heard from a number of frustrated male friends that their wives or partners use sex as a weapon against them sometimes. If a girlfriend pulled this stunt it's quite easy to simply end the relationship however if it's a wife who's doing this, and particularly if they have children, then it makes it very difficult for the man to deal with (assuming they've already talked it through with no resolution). I'm sure Beverly is 'on the money' with this observation as to why men sometimes cheat!

Valerie, a friend of mine, bravely and openly commented on facebook that she'd cheated on her ex husband for 18 years...and numerous times...and that she could justify it. I'm not sure what her justification was but I plan to talk to her about it someday. She said she was eventually caught out and will never forgive herself for the pain and hurt she caused innocent others. On a positive note she hasn't strayed for 19 years with her new husband. I, like many readers, was shocked to read about Valerie's confessions but I recognise that she's 'drawn a line in the sand' and has moved on with her life and is now happy.

I received a private facebook msg from my friend Tony O who commented: "A well balanced viewpoint. Another would be that there are growing numbers of couples who don't cheat per se, but will go to swingers clubs, partner swapping etc. To me and my partner we've had other people of both sexes join us in the bedroom, and it keeps the excitement IN the relationship".

I agree with Tony that this is something that some couples 'may' want to consider. Whilst I'm happy to advocate 3somes, 4somes etc, as it's worked for me in the past, I acknowledge it's not for everyone. It takes real honest and open communication, boundary setting and a very mature approach to a relationship to even contemplate this as an option. I don't say couples should consider it to avoid the prospect of cheating....but I do think that couples, in an effort to keep the passion alive, should discuss their sexual fantasies with each other and be willing to possibly try them. I've found that even talking about sexual fantasies with my partner in the bedroom can seriously amp up the excitement and always results in fantastic sex!

Chantelle Austin is one of Australia's leading relationship sexperts and she specializes in swinging and open relationships. Her website says "she is extremely passionate about helping the everyday couple create a highly passionate, loving and solid partnership that continues to grow instead of diminishing over decades". Swinging, 3somes and more-somes is a topic that I plan to write about in the future.

Cheating will continue to happen in our society. Some cheaters will get caught & will suffer in the fallout (as will innocent bystanders). Others will get away with it. I believe we all need to work on keeping the passion alive and ensuring we're pleasuring ourselves and our partners so that cheating isn't even an option :)

As always I'd love to hear your views on my post.

Delivering passion and pleasure.

Mal

Stuck & Frustrated 20 June 2013 at 11:03 am
I'm not surprised by the level of cheating going on. I see so much marriage break down around me at the moment with people around my age who have been married for around 10-20 years and have younger kids, and almost everyone I talk too involved reports the same reason: their sex life died once they had kids. It seems the only way for a lot of men to rekindle that sexual fun and excitement they had earlier in life is to have it with someone other than their partner as wives seem to be no longer interested in their husbands sexual needs, hopes and fantasies. I used to be so hard against cheaters given my father did it and resulted in me being raised by a single mother, but now that I'm a Dad in a 15 year marriage with kids and a completely boring dead sex life that no amount of talking, compromising or marriage and sex counselling has been able to fix, I now better understand and empathise with SOME of those who do cheat. I remember my step-dad telling me once, "there would probably be no divorce in the world if every husband could have a girlfriend on the side", which I shrugged off when he said it, but now I get it and agree...
Chelle Fitzgerald 20 June 2013 at 11:10 am
I sincerely believe that when a person cheats, it is because they have a deep lack of self-esteem/self-respect. I used to cheat simply because I had no love for myself and on many levels I needed that validation from others, in the form of random hookups. I do feel that until you can have a healthy relationship with yourself, you will find it very hard to have a healthy relationship with another person. I also noticed that you mentioned the perceived attractiveness of both parties when discussing this topic, and I very much feel that this is totally irrelevant!! As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, although your "average-looking" friend is with a "gorgeous" wife, chances are that she has never found him "average-looking" in the slightest, nor sees any discrepancy in their respective levels of beauty.
Brendan 20 June 2013 at 11:50 am
Very interesting read Mal, thanks mate.
David 20 June 2013 at 12:42 pm
I dont believe cheating is a lack of self respect, it is the final result (before breaking up or for a partner that doesnt really want to break up) Some cant face the perceived heartbreak a break up is going to cause. But cheating itself is generally not the issue, its the end result of other issues. There are problems in the relationship well before one falls into the arms of another. To not acknowledge this is a cop out. If both partners were happy with one another, happy in the direction their relationship is going, cheating does not enter the equation. However when something is lacking (being pushed away is mentioned) its not just sexual. (people get hung up on the physical act of cheating) How many people are trying to develop some sort of extra marital relationship as opposed to a quick sexual fix?I know this doesnt justify the wide span of people who get hurt, a well tuned couple would talk it out and make the changes needed to get their relationship back on track well before it got off track, but it seems no partner wants to take responsibility for change until something drastic happens.
Adam 20 June 2013 at 3:33 pm
Completely agree with both blogs Mal. I've been in that very situation twice - being the friend who gets told that their friend is cheating on their other half, what do you do? In both cases I kept it to myself because I believed at the time that they simply needed someone to confide in.On the other hand, and maybe this is karma, a year later I found my girlfriend having online affairs which was devastating. We're still together, but I now have both perspectives on the issue (well except for cheating myself) and I still don't know what the right course of action is.
[email protected] 20 June 2013 at 4:00 pm
i have been cheated on and i feel that if a person is going to cheat,they have accepted their marriage is over,this being the case,either fix it or break up before looking else where
Chris Wakeford 20 June 2013 at 5:09 pm
Its time to create a new way to do NON institutionalised exclusive relation shipping.Like politics relationships/marriage are very out of date with the lead to wards 2020.We the people and our closed minds to change is the real issue as trust.Trust and expansion go together NOT restriction.Courage and new ideas please people.Shewealth.com
Natasha 20 June 2013 at 5:37 pm
Wow what a interesting topic to discuss Mal. I think it is something that we all discuss from time to time, if we would or wouldnt cheat or what we would do if our partner was cheating. We all have our views and opinions however things may change when we are in that actual situation at that point of time. We all say we would do this and that but when you love someone its amazing what you will forgive and what you wont. I have always been of the strong opinion that you should end the relationship first. I mean whats the point of staying with someone if your going to cheat. Dont stay because your afraid one might take half of everything because these days you dont have to cheat to do that anyway. A guy once told me it doesnt matter how good the girl is there is always someone better around the corner, it suprises me that he is still married! I guess at the end of the day choices come with consequences and if you can live with guilt then go for it....I know I cant and i'd end up confessing. If you not happy as you said talk to your partner, seek advice, purchase educational material from adultshop.com or perhaps a new toy to liven things up. A passionate moment with someone else is not worth the trust and companionship that takes years to build.
Phil 20 June 2013 at 6:15 pm
I think cheating is rarely acceptable to a woman, am man however would need more discipline to be faithful. I and not sure cheating is a word i would use. Infidelity, maybe and what is a man supposed to do when a woman is hot with him, catch the moment or dismiss it, and how many people are going to be honest about it, i wonder if open relationships really last, i would say rarely.
Dave Moore 21 June 2013 at 3:22 am
Tremendous Mal,You have a real talent for writing.I think Anthony Robins sums it up nicely when he says " most people don't know the difference between pleasure and Happiness""Pleasure is short term and may be in conflict to Happiness which is longterm"...I never see my little daughter who is now 27 and beautiful, a direct result of my wife's unsuccessful affair 25 years ago.Glad to see you doing so well you are a shining light of optimism :)
Happily In Love 21 June 2013 at 1:54 pm
Another great blog, I've been cheated on and I've cheated on people and either way I've felt terrible hurt & guilt. The way I see it, if you don't feel guilty for cheating on your partner, you shouldn't be with them. I'm not married so I can't speak on behalf of them but I would never want to hurt my fiancé like that. If I'm not happy, ill tell him. If it can't be fixed, ill leave
satmot97 26 June 2013 at 7:47 am
Very interesting again! Like I said on the other blog I have cheated. The cheating was bad enough but when I lied to try to cover it up when caught out I made it go to the top level!!!! All trust is destroyed even my trust of my wife has been eroded for some reason that I'm still a bit confused and surprised by. The innocent get hurt and hurt bad, it's really not worth it.There are different reasons for everyone, sure there are more common reasons but everyone has their reasons good or bad. Good or bad there are better ways of handling it that work for different people.There is some good to come out of it, we talk about anything so much more openly now. We are rebuilding our relationship slowly, we hope we make it.
Kayt 16 March 2014 at 3:57 pm
I think one thing that has been missed out on here is bisexuality. I have found it hard in the past being bi and trying to stay faithful with a partner. It's been a hard learning curve as you can't always get what you need from one person. Luckily my partner now accepts my sexuality and encourages me to 'explore' as long as i tell him all the details!
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