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Why Do People Cheat?

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I was catching up with a long distant friend over Gmail Chat and somehow the conversation turned to cheating. How did we even start on the subject? We were chatting about relationships, he was telling me about how he had learnt from his previous relationship and was asking what I thought about abstaining from sex at the start of a new relationship. I told him my thoughts, that abstinence is not a theory I subscribe to but I can see the rationale…sometime during this chat, I asked him why he had previously cheated whilst in a relationship (he has not cheated in his current relationship). His response:

Cheated occasionally when I was feeling bad about the relationship and needed a break’.

We started to talk about the importance of communicating with your partner and the importance of telling them about your cheating past and what led to you cheating (in order to reduce/prevent you from cheating again). I told him about a past relationship where I had cheated on my partner and how in a later ‘buddy’ relationship I had told my buddy about this past. My friends thought that was a bad idea, they were (rightly I think) concerned that he would judge me unfavourably for having cheated in the past.

So I thought I would do some text based research. I texted my friends who I knew had cheated before or are cheating currently. I also texted one friend that I had no idea whether he had cheated before or not and this was the response to the question. ‘Okay doing some research for the blog. Why do people cheat? What are your thoughts?

These are some of the responses I received. I also decided to indicate whether the response came from a man or woman. I feel that men and women cheat for different reasons so I want to see if any trends emerge:

• Because you want out of the current relationship, On a subconscious level you are trying to break up (woman)
• Cos they are selfish – you do it because you do it, simple (woman)
• The thrill of experiencing sexual attraction with someone other than your partner, it’s more exciting. People cheat because they are bored/unhappy/unfulfilled (man)
• I don’t know why. Plus I don’t really cheat so I really wouldn’t know ? (man – I know he has cheated although in the text he (jokingly?) denies it)
• Dissatisfaction generally, sex, fantasy, love, fulfilment, recognition and respect, seeking attention, irresponsibility on partner’s side, beauty, communication, generational gap, I can go on and on, these are my personal experiences. (woman)
• Because they know they won’t be caught and there is a certain allure to the naughtiness of the act. Plus and more importantly a relationship is not the natural state of things, all the things it promises, a sense of security, joy, constant sex…what you end up getting is boredom and all the insecurities the other party brings to the table, none of the romance or excitement you were hoping for ( man)
• They’re weak? They can’t be bothered to try and stay committed? Can’t let a skirt get away? I think it’s mainly the idea they can get away with it and so why not? (man)
• Easy, Indiscipline (woman)

One of my friends said her response was too long to send via text so sent an email. I am reproducing the relevant bits in its entirety below:

“Why people cheat? What a complex question? Firstly, I’m assuming we’re talking about sex because personally I believe you can cheat by kissing or fooling around with someone who isn’t your partner or even by getting emotionally closer to another person. But, we both know how ‘extra’ I am.

Sex doesn’t usually have much to do with love, and once you separate the act of love making from the notion of love, the reasons for cheating become clearer. For some people I think a lot of the thrill is in the chase of pursuing some one and in the discovery of sexual pleasure with someone new. As much as you try to maintain spontaneity and creativity in a long term relationship you grow to know your partner and anticipate their likes and their responses. For some people this is a turn on, for others it’s the beginning of sexual bed death and is boring.

Obviously, it happens that at a point in time you can find someone else more sexually attractive or they can give you something or perform sexual acts or sex in a way that your partner can’t or isn’t willing to try.

Some people cheat because they are in denial. They think they are fooling themselves, their peers and wider society by maintaining the facade of being heterosexual and being in a conventional relationship when really they’re bisexual or gay (not that I like those labels) and need to explore or fulfil that side of themselves with someone of the same sex. They may also be scared of reproach if they come out.

The only thing I can tell you with any certainty is why I personally cheated, which not something I’m proud of or thought that I was capable of, but I guess we never really know what we’re capable of until we’re tested in a given situation. Anyway, the main reason was I felt emotionally neglected and distant from my partner. .. That chasm allowed me to become very emotionally close to someone else and once you feel that bond it’s easy for attraction to develop and not too big a leap for you to act on it. The reason why I continued cheating? Because I fell in love and I guess wanted to explore that side of myself.

The crux is, it’s only cheating if your partner doesn’t know about it. So the real question is, why don’t people tell? That’s a whole other debate. I guess because if you’re married or co habiting for example you risk losing a lot. Access to children perhaps, money in a settlement, the trust and closeness of someone whom you may care about and have a shared history, your best friend perhaps. So maybe people don’t tell because they’re scared of losing those things and are cowards, but often I guess because they know their actions will hurt someone they may love, but don’t care enough not do it” (woman)

So what are your thoughts on why people cheat? Have you every cheated? In your response please indicate in brackets if you’re male or female, I’m curious as to whether any trends will emerge.

73 COMMENTS

  1. A response I just got sent so uploading as a comment. I will upload any further responses I get sent to my question as a comment:

    I think people cheat for different reasons.

    Women cheat because they are not getting attention from their man and need to feel appreciated by another man, sometimes, any man. If you have a girl you pay attention to and compliment all the time (oh, and give her good loving), she’ll never cheat on you.

    Guys on the other hand have spent their entire youth chasing women and being told half the time to eff off. Then all of a sudden, they crack it. Whether it’s because they’re older and more confident, better groomed, earning and therefore can take the girl out, they realise that more and more women are saying yes to them. It’s hard to walk away. No matter how faithful and morally upright a man is, there’s only so many times he can say thanks but no thank you to a woman. We all know the days of the shy retiring woman are numbered. Now, they think nothing of telling a guy they want to fuck him and he has to be one hard man to say no to that. (man)

  2. I agree wtih you Kofi. I am one of those guys who passionately pursue faithfulness in a relationship. I have however had some very vulnerable moments. I have managed to do 12 years straight with one woman, who is also my wife but I will be a liar to say in those twelve years, I have not had “near misses”.

    I think there has been two reasons why I have not physically cheated, they are:

    1. My female friends and acquaintances are too kind. They save me from myself in moments of vulnerability; and for such friends, I am so grateful.

    2. I am very much aware of how vulnerable I am and quite often will nip a situation in the bud before it becomes too late.

    Now to answer the question directly, I think people cheat because they are “human”. We get bored, we got lonely, we forget, we can be short-sighted, we get angry, selfish, and the more I look at the things that make us human, the more I’m amazed how some manage to stay faithful.

  3. Lol at Kofi and Kinkidi

    @ Kinkidi – To cheat is human. To not cheat is divine?

    I just had another text response to my question:

    Why do People cheat? Cos they’re bored and out of love with their partners…Because the person they’re gonna cheat with is super hot! or sometimes, their partners piss them off and to get back at them they cheat (woman)

  4. we should all recognize that few relationships are sustainable in the long run after there is some form of cheating. to be in a successful relationship is highly dependent on your ability to sacrifice your freedom to pursue sex with whoever u want. usually the fun during the pursuit of alternative booty succumbs to the fatal guilt after the sex, knowing that you risk losing a meaningful relationship. and if anyone cheats without fear or guilt of being caught then i would argue the relationship may technically be over and/or the ‘cheater’ is just very brave and prepared to face the music should s@!t hit the fan.

    as adults, consideration should be given to a lot of factors before choosing to enter a relationship. being sexually attracted to a 3rd party won’t stop once u enter a relationship. however the decision to pursue this sexual attraction has repercussions we can choose to either prevent or invite by our actions, depending on how successful we want the relationship to be. in modern relationships the pressure to find out your sexual compatibility with a prospective partner is so obsessive. otherwise the pressure to marry is overwhelming and the weddings are quickly arranged. in both cases cheating is a real likelihood resulting from prior hurried decisions. personally i would prefer the evidence of a more carefully entered relationship as opposed to the sheer bravery underlying the excitement of forming unions.

    the conversation may therefore have to shift towards the real problems – boredom, loneliness, anger, communication gaps, sexual orientation, temptation, loss of attraction etc. – which are workable if both persons are willing to do what it takes by solving these problems together (incl. the decision to break up). i personally notice cheating occurring in relationships/marriages that lack the fundamentals or support around these sensitive areas. could it be that this age of instant gratification is making it tougher for us to weather the storm? are we prepared enough for relationships and marriages?

    maybe we needn’t worry so much about cheating and pointing fingers at the ‘cheaters’ around us. id rather we promote awareness for what lies beneath the act of cheating …

  5. All the reasons I have read up there, I have heard before. Personally, the one thing that might make me cheat is boredom and familiarity. We all meet peeps and feel attracted. I believe it takes a “push factor” in a “committed” relationship more than the “pull factor” of the new person to make you cheat…typically.

  6. Another comment I just got sent:

    (interesting reading, but I guess its due to the fact that we are imperfect as humans and therefore the idea of one remaining faithful thru out a lifetime relationship is absurd and not fit for purpose. I’d rather be realistic and address the issue of coping, accepting and dealing with such inevitable actions. In my case, I’m attracted to intelligence.)

  7. I think people cheat because they don’t get the sexual fulfillment they desire, one can not get it all100% but a a decent % will keep you put l guess. I like to explore and learn new ways, new ways keep me relaxed and feeling fulfilled and young but if l am stuck (and why l shd be stuck? It is a diff conversation all together) to a partner who is not ready to learn and explore and act young, l am left with no option but to look elsewhere for that fulfillment.

  8. I guess people cheat because they get bored and feellost. When there is that gap we become vunerable. I guess I cheat because I think I will never get caught. An ex once said she cheated on me ‘cos I was never available. Cheaters are like serial killers…waiting to be caught.

  9. I guess everybody has their own reason for cheating, and a common theme here is a sense of a lack of fulfillment. In that case, why cheat? Why not just break up? I’ll hazard a guess and say it’s because that person (the one being cheated on) STILL offers something valuable to you (the cheater) that you still want to hold on to. The best thing to do is to end the relationship. In the long run, it’s the other person that hurts the most. Nana is right, the only reason people cheat and don’t tell is because they are selfish and they are cowards.

  10. Destiny.

    Some have partners that the world adores…incredibly gorgeous, intelligent, loving, caring, attractive and all-&-all yet no opportunity to cheat will pass them by.

    Some people get bored, beaten, humiliated, stumped, starved of sex and still remain ever sooo faithful.

    Logic cannot explain, so I leave it to destiny. If you are destined to cheat, you will no matter what, who, where, when, how etc…etc…

  11. People cheat to fill a void in the relationship.
    When I cheated, I sought more & better sex in some, more lively companionship in others.
    If I get cheated on, it will be because of a void I created or helped create.

  12. i cheat on ma partner and the reason is simple…i just have to cheat. it was difficult the first time. buh now its perfectly normal. cheating is like having a smoke, once u manage the the first stick you will have no problem with subsequent ones…

  13. @Mentor101 – I so agree wth you

    @Nana Yaw – Mmm, people are pushed more than pulled to cheating?

    @Naa – How about the option to end the relationship with the partner who is no longer satisfying you?

    @Kwame – That is going to be my quote of the century…’cheaters are like serial killers waiting to get caught’. The thing is one does get caught in the long run, isn’t it?

    @Abena – I agree with you on ending the relationship when you realise you cannot/do not want to stop yourself from cheating. Me thinks its the only fair thing to do. Otherwise tell your partner about your cheating so at least they are fully aware. Who knows they may accept an ‘open relationship’ which of course comes with its own very special headaches. I wonder is there anyone in an open relationship? How have you found the experience?

    @Nana T – Is it destiny or personal responsibility…or more accurately a lack of personal responsibility?

    @Mike – Out of curiousity how successfully was the void filled?

    @blackstick – Why do you feel you just have to cheat? What will happen if you didn’t cheat?

  14. Dear Nana,
    how about women who are being showered wit so much love and attntion yet still cheat?I think reasons given for cheating are just excuses to justify the cheat.
    u quite know how secret love cld be soooo sweeat but taste like sand when caught

  15. @Nana D-because the first time was a success ie i was not caught and the feeling was goooood.
    -Honestly i have never thought of what will happen if i dont cheat. I may have to consider that in the near future. But till then i pray am not caught or else…….

  16. Very successfully filled. You get all you want from multiple sources.
    I knew those relationships wouldn’t last because I knew I had to have more. Those were temporary solutions for relationships I already decided were temporary.

  17. @ Nick – I don’t think people cheat because of a lack of love and attention. I agree that you could show a woman (and a man) love and attention yet they will still cheat. I do however think that cheating is a sign that there is something fundamentally flawed within the relationship. People tend not to cheat at the height of the relationship, do they?

    @blackstick – If you do get caught be sure to let me know what happens 🙂

    @Mike – A case for polygamy? Multiple satisfaction from multiple sources? Only joking, I am of the view that in our current world polygamy is not fair or viable.

  18. *Wow* ,Nana Darkoa,
    I read this post last week and found it very interesting and informative..I feel like I’ve been living on ‘Naive Street’ for quite a while. I like the way you were able to bring all the different perspectives together and of course the various comments. It is a shame to have the conversation just end here especially since it is practically the basis for a sociological study!! Maybe social networks like facebook or Twitter could be used for a wider study with more perspectives? Just a thought.

  19. @ Nick- Here is an analogy for you; Just because a guy goes down on his woman 5x a day doesn’t automatically mean he is doing a good job at it. That is the same with showering someone with love & affection. It could all be chaff if the recipient doesn’t see it as love & affection. I’m yet to see someone getting exactly & enough of what they want from a partner according to their own standards, resort to cheating.
    That is why I think the need to fill a void is what drives people to cheat.

  20. @Blackstick – You’re on! I await the inevitable…

    @Abena Serwaa – Hmm, you are not the only one on ‘Naive Street’, sometimes I feel like I live on the same street. Hmm, ways of continuing the conversation. I will tweet the post and see if I get more comments. Thanks for the suggestion

  21. I’m late to the party again Nana!!!Great question with interesting answers.

    Why do we cheat?
    For me cheating on the current partner is the physical manifestation of a relationship which has ended in my mind. And what has caused it to end: relationship is on a mission to nowhere, dissatisfaction with all efforts to resuscitate failing, moreover we are not legally hitched.
    Only food for thot is…Is it an escapist habit? I am getting scared about carrying this trend into marriage. I can’t just switch off on a HUSBAND can I?

  22. @Ginger – Please allow me to trot out a cliched expression – Better late than never…

    Is it an escapist habit is an interesting question? Another question that pops into my head is, so why do we not escape permanently rather than look for temporal escapes?

    Lol at switching off on a husband. I think you can switch off on a husband. I think lots of people do…the reasons I suspect are for the same reasons why people switch off on their boyfriends/girlfriends – marrying the wrong person in the first place, loosing respect for the person, boredom, etc etc

  23. Everyone experiences a nudging relationship obstacle at some point… boredom, loneliness, sexual incompatibility, lack of trust, loss of attraction, money, careers, anger, past mistakes one can’t forgive etc. to understate these problems is misleading. Much as they can be worked around where there are 2 mature adults, the case for separation may be valid; to avoid the worsening of conditions which lead to regrettable decisions. The whole idea of keeping your partner regardless is quite sinister in that eventually both parties lose out on the opportunity to sincerely move on, which may stir further resentment down the line. And for some there is a breaking point after which you may have to prepare for the unexpected.

    It’s quite worrying to hear utterances suggesting that cheating happens to all relationships. Why don’t we rather urge ourselves to face up to the problems squarely instead of ‘switching off’ or ‘being caught’? I think it’s a bad habit to half-escape. And u know what they say, bad habits die hard!

    Also i notice that the apprehension towards relationships involving cheating is being articulated the wrong way. In my experience the urge to cheat is extinguished if i’m reminded that the relationship is workable and ultimately what i want.

    I am curious if there are any testimonies here of ‘successful’ relationships where there cheating in the past?

  24. (woman) I cheat because i can’t trust. So i think that: If i don’t cheat, he will cheat on me or actually, maybe he is cheating on me now. So why don’t cheat if i found someone who is attractive and interested in me. But, i hope that someday i can trust somebody….again but, that is scary.

  25. @Lotte – Out of curiosity did you start cheating because a previous partner cheated on you?

    @Mentor101 – I agree with the idea that one should not hold on to relationships no matter what – there comes a time when one just has to move on

  26. simple thougts…human beings dont like to be tied down, we feel our lives thrives on excitement, adventure of doing something new, its one life so why settle for anything when u can something more….we are genrally selfish, needy, conceited beings, both mena nd women, everything always biols down to us…what we want, what we need, we claim in relationships…we wnat the other persons happiness, that the idea of love but when push comes to shove , the real person shows up, reminding u that u also derserve that happiness…lol…i am just making noise.

    simply put-we cheat because we can. because we can always have achange to either make it up of find somthing better or worse. as far as we are not dying for it. we do it because we can. thats all…all the other reasons…just stuff that make us feel better about our selves……lol..the lies we tell ourselves so we can sleep at night…justification is our best strength when cheat…

  27. lol…Nana, not really…mostly the reasons vary on the situation or circumstance i found ma self in, whether its one night stand, a rebound with an ex or a hot girl looking for nothing but physical intimacy…no strings attached….but then we al grow up at one point and start becoming ethical, moral and responsible….damn!…lol

  28. i have never cheated and i don’t think anything can drive me to cheat. i think people who cheat simply never loved the people they were in a relationship with. well with me, i find it hard because of my believe, i see that its sin. but if i have to play the devils advocate here, i think many women do so now because of lack of respect, loneliness and dissatisfaction from their partners.

  29. Nana, I dont know why people cheat but I know why my friend started cheating on his wife. He was just being ignored at home which made him feel not man enough and not attractive. He complained of the wife not being satisfied with anything he did at home till he met this girl who virtually worshiped him, called him uncle, swallowed every word that came from him, gave him all the space he needed etc. Not he is an exparte womanizer.

  30. well I cheated on my ex in a past relationship. I did this because he was not there for me most times and perhaps he did not want me again but did not know how to say it simply because, he thought he would hurt my feelings.

    Yeah right!!!! they do so all the time and only come back crawling on all fours. I think ladies out there who cheat one time or the other shouldn’t feel bad if they felt good afterward for I sure did!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Why do I cheat? My first reaction and answer would be because I can. It’s easy. It’s fun. But basically it goes deeper than that. For every person the reason is different. For me it would be at this stage, I need to explore. I need to free my soul.

  32. This is like sharing wat’s been bothering me lately.I’m in a long distance relationship;my bf and i got seperated close to a year now(must say we were sexually active)and soo we were even scared of how we were gonna do da whole distance thing without sex. we occassionally had phone sex and all bt cheating was one thn dat never came up.i got close to dis guy and he eventually asked me out bt i refused and told my bf abt it.With time my bf’s attitude started changing,he got mad at thns he hardly would hav noticed if we were close;he was not calling often,giving me the ive been busy treatment.We had a hot argument abt it and he broke up wid me! I was soo heart broken and ddnt know wat to do than to call dis same guy who asked me out once to share my grief.This guy was always der for me till my bf came bak, apologised and asked for a 2nd chance which i gave cus i must say ive never been dis in love wid anyone in my entire life.A few months later we hav a lil misunderstanding and my bf goes like u know wat?Let’s break up! i got sooo devastated,i almost commmited suicide!bt den dat guy i mentioned earlier was der for me again!he was wid me 24/7 made sure i ate,slept and put a lil smile on my face!Soo i guess its understandable if i say we started dating and thns got intimate in less than 2weeks! Then my BF or shd i say ex showed up again!And i dnt know why bt i cant resist him;i got bak to him!and now i feel soo guilty!i thnk i hav to tell him but den am scared i might lose him again!DOES THIS COUNT AS CHEATING?

    • Hi Shana. If I understand you correctly you had sex with another man whilst you were single. At the time you were not in a relationship with your current boyfriend. That doesn’t count as cheating. The sense I get is that for you it may feel like emotional cheating since you appear to have a very strong emotional connection to him. It seems to me like you need to protect your heart. How many times has he broken up with you now? What bothers me most is that you considered suicide after one of the breakups. Please no one is worth killing yourself over. Stay well, healthy and happy. Cyber hugs to you.

  33. Shana, the relationship that developed between you and the other guy is proof that you will always find a man that will sincerely love you and make you feel loved.
    I hope you never feel the way you did that initiated the thoughts of suicide. If you ever do, and can’t find anyone near you to talk to, there will always be someone here to support you.

    I wouldn’t classify your relationship with the other guy as cheating. You & boyfriend were exes at that time.

  34. So what everyone is basically saying is that it all boils down to sex? Thats it? Is sex really worth it? I’d rather end the relationship than be a liar/cheater. Spare me the excitement/rush/forbidden crap. You can have that without being in a relationship.

    People break up families, hurt, beat, humiliate…all for sex??? Wow, thats really sad. I can’t understand how laying on top of someone else while in a relationship is changing the outcome when you go home to your partner. They’re still there. Obviously they aren’t wanted so why not just send them packing??

    When you chose to be committed/monogamous, YOU made that choice. No one forced it on you yet justifications run amok once you break that commitment. It makes me sick.

    I guess monogamy ruins peoples lives huh? STD’s, broken hearts, lies, resentment…is it worth it? Just end the relationship since obviously you’re choosing to go against it.

  35. Whoa, Ms Chelsea, breeeaaathe.

    Please come down a bit. I mean I can understand your anger but before you pass judgement or dismiss things out of hand yu might want to consider a few things.

    Now I personally have made no secret that I reject the idea of monogamy. I stand by that and history is very much on my side. That said, I do not dismiss the fact that many people can, are and can remain monogamous and live very happy fulfilled lives.

    But here’s the thing

    Monogamy DOES ruin lives…..but so does non-monogamy,…. and open marriages, and swinging, and “saving” oneself for one’s wedding night. All these can ruin someone life, or enrich it.

    As I have argued here and in several essays on another website, the real problem is the expectation and the insistence that the exclusive monagamous model is THE only legitmate way to interact sexually/intimately (I want to move away from the idea that this is always sexual, it’s not). In patricentric societies, particularly those influenced by Western Christianity and/or European middle-class values sex and marriage (which isn’t to be entered into in THAT order) are only to be permitted in exclusive closed relationships. That idea is aggressively advocated through religion and spiced up by fairy-tale ideas of the proverbial “One” the “Soulmate” who possesses ALL the qualities one desires in a mate — and by extension, you possess all the qualities s/he’s looking for. It’s maintained also by a deep-rooted sense of fear and loss and above all else, ownership, private ownership all of which was programmed to kick in the monent one’s spouse/SO so much as looks at someone else

    I’ve gone into extensive detail before here and on another site so I won’t belabour you with details except to point out that the ideals, values, ideas of righteousness or “faithfulness” you are defending were actually developed to keep YOU, the woman, under a man’s control.

    I’ll also say again that many people who end up in extra-relationships (I refuse to validate judgemental terms like ‘cheating,’ ‘straying,’ ‘unfaithful,’ ‘disloyal’ etc, this issue is far too complex) had NO intention to do so, they believed in the projected idea that that person was to be their one and only, s/he was “enough” for them…..until reality hits. And it’s not necessarily that the relationship is an unhappy one either; a great many women and men have affirmed that they loved their spouse/partner and some said they were actually happy. But Lynn Atwater said it best in her 1982 book The Extramarital Connection: we have inherited a set of sexual codes that were never designed to meet the realities of living, working and interacting the way we do today (I argue that they were never designed to consider the realities of human sexuality even 4000 years ago; history is very clear that economics and masculine insecurity, not respect, love or religious piety, was the motivation, those were nothing more than useful covers)

  36. I’m not accepting or rejecting the idea of monogamy. I’m talking about adults who made a conscious decision to enter an exclusive relationship and then decide to have their fun on the side. These are the people who make me sick. Liars.

    How hard is honesty? These people run around, sleep around and then kiss their boy/girlfriends wives/husbands the same day/night. It makes me sick. They look these people in the eye, touch them at night, and whispers words of love. What a joke.

    If you know that being faithful is going to be an obstacle, don’t commit yourself to someone who expects faithfulness and loyalty. But what about the people who slip up and it was a one time thing? All I can say is be honest with your partner. Most feel that what their partner won’t know wont hurt. You’re taking away your partners right for themselves to decide if they want to stay with you or not. The reason why you strayed isn’t suddenly going to go away and more than likely its going to happen again. Let them know so you guys can decide what to about your relationship…if the arguments are stressful on the relationship, no affection, distance and all that jazz. They wont ever get a chance to fix whats happening if they never know. They will never know that whats happening between you is driving you away to someone else. Even if it was only once.

    Its not necessarily the cheating that sickens me….its the dishonesty. Its the secrets. We’re not children making pinky promises anymore. We’re in a world full of STI’s, guns, and death over this issue.

    Keep it real folks.

  37. Again, Ms Chelsea

    I’m in basic empathy with the view that the deception and the lying is what is most reprehesnible. I’m in basic agreeement with the view that if people agree to be exclusive and to remain monogmamous then they are supposed to remain true to that.

    HOWEVER

    I argue that that is more valid provided they have been made aware of the existence and the LEGITIMACY of altrnative forms of sexual/intimate intereaction, which in many societies is NOT the case (since you were a child, were YOU told in school, at home and at church about non-monomgamy, polyamory, casual sexual friendship and [2] were these expressions spoken about approvingly or as “abominations?”

    Because I maintain that most of the people who “stray” (or were the victims of it) either have had no idea that monogamy is NOT the only “moral” model for intimate interaction, or believe that non-monogamy in its various forms is sinful, selfish, cowardly, excuses for hedonism, etc. They entered into relationships believeing the myths of the “One”, believing that they could remain exclusive…..until “it” happens. Even many of those who do not “succumb” physically but find themselves drawn emotionally to someone else are wracked by feelings of conflict and self-hate because of the teachings that posit that if you so much as desire someone else you have already sinned and committed lust. I cannot get out of my mind a dear friend of mine who I learned took her own life because of feelings directly related to these notions and because her feelings of love was not returned by her One. What a sick obscene, perverted, mindset we uphold because it has been advanced under the cover of “god” and kept in place through Snow White, Prince Charming and Co.

    I don’t discount the realities of STIs but that is more to be dealt with on health reasons and can be contained by proper protection. As for the talk about “guns and death” that only proves my central point that sex, relationships, marriage and exclusivity are rooted in a mindest that one’s spouse/SO is not a person but a POSSESSION; you “own” that person’s heart, emotion and genitals (the very word adultery comes from a Latin term meaning “to confer property on another”). No matter hwo it’s dressed up and perfumed by love songs and rom-coms, THAT is the basis of what we are discussing here.

  38. Oh please. You talk about adults being deluded into believing that monogamy is the only way? Sounds like crap. Are you telling me that adults don’t have the basic ability to think and know what it is right for themselves?? To me, this sounds like they are not living their lives for them, but for the perceptions of others that are thrust upon them. Its really sad but also a justification.

    In this world we are bombarded with sexual images everyday, in the media and in society itself, and you mean to tell me that alternative lifestyles are shunned? Not necessarily if you look at how the media perpetuates casual sex? They also show adults making decisions for themselves and not with others in mind. If image and perception is that important to them then thats because they make it so. Don’t drag someone into your life if you know, because trust me they know, that monogamy is not something you agree with. The guilt and conflict that they feel is because they lied…point blank. Not because they want to cheat but can’t tell the truth.

    If someone decides to believe that monogamy is the only way because OTHER people tell them it is, that person cannot think for themselves. They are being led by the coat tails of their families, pastors, and other members of society. 2011 is about freedom of choice. We have freewill to believe in what we want.

    I can agree with you on the possession issue. In some ways you can definitely say that your SO possessing you was a mindset back in the day and in some aspects still affects how people approach relationships yes. But what about adultery? Who in the relationship has the right to possess, the right to get their pleasure elsewhere? I thought relationships in the modern era was about equality but you are probably remembering when men had sole ownership over their wives but not necessarily the other way around. But in today’s era? I believe that idea is done away with.

    Some men probably do believe that they can stray and not be punished and their wives should remain the dutiful submissive doormat their to please him whenever he feels. But….these ideas definitely can be seem manifested in men who commit abuse against their partners because of this ideal of “possessive ownership” and that what he says go. Do as I say and not as I do.

    But in the end….all of these do have bearing on how people view relationships, sex and monogamy but you can’t discount the biggest and most powerful aspect….choice. We still choose to lie and cheat. No one is forcing you. Your parents aren’t, your pastor isn’t and neither is society.

  39. @Chelsea
    I can’t say I wasn’t expecting that to be your response. But I couldn’t help but notice you didn’t answer the question I posed to you (were YOU ever taught about alternative social intimacy outside of the monogamous model as a child?). You can scoff at the argument but the facts are plain for anyone to see.
    You see the point is that it is not so much adults who were/are deluded into believing that monogamy is the only way, it’s the CHILDREN who are deluded into this ideal. So by the time they grow up to become adults, that is embedded deep into their/our consciousness and then these now “adult children” pass on the idea onto their children in a self-rejuvenating cycle.

    Yes, we are bombarded with sexual imagery every day, trust me, I know; even before cable and the internet, US ideas of sex flooded TV and movie theatres in Trinidad. But, there are so many sub-levels to this argument and the way you pointed it out let slip a few very important ones:

    “In this world we are bombarded with sexual images everyday, in the media and in society itself, and you mean to tell me that alternative lifestyles are shunned? Not necessarily if you look at how the media perpetuates casual sex? They also show adults making decisions for themselves and not with others in mind.”
    The predominant ideal of sex in US culture is that sex should only be monogamous and exclusive. If you look carefully at many of the images and scenes, they are for the most part welded to that central theme, premarital sex and casual is no longer (openly) demeaned but within practically every TV show, movie or play where casual or pre/extramarital sex is depicted there are counter-narratives that condemns it and that condemnation is always couched in the predominant “classic” ideal that sex and relationships are to be engaged in only in the exclusive model (that’s another very important thing about patriarchy/patricentric ideology, it first condemns a counterculture/narrative and then gradually absorbs aspects of it but subject to the goals of patricentric ideals until said counterculture/narrative is converted. This is exactly what happened to the Flower Power movement, alternative medicine, the Green Revolution and even porn and erotica.

    Which takes me back to the argument of how sex is depicted in popular media as well as the pornographic industry. Most of this depicts sex according to how patricentric-minded MEN idealise it should be. So whether we are looking at mainstream pornography, the average soap opera or TV show depicting casual sex, or the countering, conservative view that all this is sinful, evil, and objectifying women, they BOTH are done from a masculinist, individualist perspective (which I suggest you keep in mind when making the point about individuals making decisions for themselves, with no one else in mind; European and Euro-American cultural values are built from the ground up on the basis of individualism, has always been and closed monogamy itself is based on valued selfishness/private ownership)

    “Don’t drag someone into your life if you know, because trust me they know, that monogamy is not something you agree with. The guilt and conflict that they feel is because they lied…point blank. Not because they want to cheat but can’t tell the truth”
    That’s YOU making a blanket statement – in keeping with the patricentric mindset. Not that you are necessarily wrong, but it’s one-sided, judgemental and simplistic – no disrespect intended. There are those who feel guilty and conflicted because they deeply believe in the narrative of monogamy equals morality yet can’t come to terms with their emotional bonding with that third party. Further, what about those who do not really agree with monogamy but dues to social or financial pressure feel compelled to marry anyhow? Just because it doesn’t apply to you doesn’t mean it does not apply to others.

    “In some ways you can definitely say that your SO possessing you was a mindset back in the day and in some aspects still affects how people approach relationships yes. But what about adultery?”
    You DO realise that you are contradicting yourself regarding the earlier – and central – portions of your argument? And keep in mind, adultery comes from a Latin term “ad alterum se conferre” – to confer PROPERTY on another.

    “Who in the relationship has the right to possess, the right to get their pleasure elsewhere? I thought relationships in the modern era was about equality but you are probably remembering when men had sole ownership over their wives but not necessarily the other way around. But in today’s era? I believe that idea is done away with”
    If it was done away with we would not be having this discussion. All that has happened is that it has morphed to incorporate the counter-views. Additionally, we err if we believe that history and the human experience flows in some linear path from cave-man days to now. It’s very much a cycle and from what I’ve been observing is that the political, social and religious climate in the Americas in 2011 has become in many ways more conservative and misogynist than it was in, say, the late 1960s, early to mid 1970s. Further, with regard to the period when men had ownership over their wives, the only significant change to THAT was that with the rise of Christianity and specifically Augustinian doctrine, that idea of ownership just extended to apply to BOTH sexes: the notion of inanimate possessiveness still applies. So whereas in pre-Christian/Islamic matricentric societies respect, pleasure, erotic fulfilment and openness applied to both men and women, in the modified patriarchy, both men and women are privately owned by each other.

    “Some men probably do believe that they can stray and not be punished and their wives should remain the dutiful submissive doormat their to please him whenever he feels. But….these ideas definitely can be seem manifested in men who commit abuse against their partners because of this ideal of “possessive ownership” and that what he says go. Do as I say and not as I do.”
    Which is kinda my point

    “But in the end….all of these do have bearing on how people view relationships, sex and monogamy but you can’t discount the biggest and most powerful aspect….choice”
    But for you to have a clear choice, you have to know what the choices are and, in this case, that the alternatives are as legitimate and moral as the approved monogamous model. That is not the case in this society at all; premarital sex is tolerated as is sexual friendships (friends with benefits) but only because to push the rigidly conservative stance NOW would result in MORE people discarding it. Patriarchal ideologies are very much opposed to diversity and choice: they tend to be singular and authoritarian. It’s noteworthy that the word “heresy” comes from the Latin heresaeus – choice.

  40. Let me open up this can of worms again and attempt to break it down for everyone.

    A chick will cheat when she’s frustrated at her partner cos he’s royally pissing her off and she can’t think of a better way to get at him or cos he consistently leaves her sexually unsatisfied. Dudes on the other hand, are only as faithful as their options. Fact. From when you were 11 years old, every guy that smiled at you and said hello wanted to fuck you. Over time you’ve learnt how to say no thanks/no fuck off and it works in adult life as well – as long as you’ve kept yourself somewhat fit. Guys on the other, from when we realised our little peepee wasn’t just for writing our names in the sand, we’ve wanted to stick it where the bible intended. Fast forward a decade or two and the world has changed. The sisters are saying “fuck it, anything a guy can do …….” and are now coming on to guys. I’m prepared to wager my last dime that there isn’t a single guy out there who can consistently say “thanks but no thanks”. There’s only so many times a guy can say “no” before he goes “okay, come on then”. So it’s about options. Is he getting offers? Is he gonna get caught? can he afford it? If it all checks out, he’s cheating, guaranteed. I don’t care who you are, you could be the dalai lama and you’ll cheat if all that checks out.

    I also think there are some people out there (both guys and gals) who are just hos and will fuck however good they have already have it cos they just can’t say no. Some will argue being monogamous is not in our DNA. maybe i agree with that school of thought, if God wanted us to be monogamous, he would have made us all look exactly alike. Why do you think penguins mate for life? Go figure.

  41. @ Tema Boy

    It would do well if you were a litle more sophisticated in your views on the subject. It’s not that what you said was wrong, but I find that at this juncture we should all treat with the subject as the complex multifaceted issue that it is.

    I’m not disputing that there are those among us who are just looking to fuck anything in sight with little regard for anyone else; I’m not dismissing either the asertion that for some women to step outside of their exclusive marriage or partnership they have to be “pissed off” at their mate or are sexually unsatisfied. All that however, is only a small part, a really small part of the wider issue; many men step out because of sexual AS WELL AS emotional unfulfillment while there are women who will stray once there are options as well as step out even IF they have otherwise satisfying sex lives and are fulfilled. It’s just that the social pressures are greater on women to remain exclusive than men.

    Which brings me (AGAIN) to the elephant in the room, monogamy

    Why oh why are we still arguing from the (perhaps unconscious) assumption that monogamy is natural? That it is the point of departure or the moral benchmark and every/anythinig else is divergent? IT IS NOT. There are people who CAN be monogamous and exclusive (two different things actually) but that does not mean that EVERYONE is supposed to be that way. We have got to engage in these discussions recognising the diversity of humans and that even within societies, there must be legitimate space for different behaviours and preferences sexually and emotionally. By doing that alone we would be challenging an ideological position that is a foundation of patriarchal thought — unifocalilty. The one common thread linking all patriarchy/patricentry be it in traditional or postcolonial Africa and the Caribbean, in Europe or Euro-American culture is the intolerance for diversity. That intolerance is especially prevalent in sexuality, which is where it may have started in the first place.

    HUMANS, both male and female are sexually divrese, end of story. Society has changed from how it was when the rigid monogamous, exclusive model was first imposed hundreds and hundreds of years ago (and it wasn’t appropriate even then) and we have to recognise that and come away from such value-laden terms as “cheating” “unfaithful” especially in the African/Afri-Caribbean contexts as we seek to redefine our spaces. Let them in the North Atlantic metropoles stay with that arseness if they want, let US move ahead

  42. i agree with Corey on the fact that ideals, philisophies, et al. of a particular culture and background are ingrained into our subconscious especially in our childhood and thus usually affect our subsequent mainstream of thoughts,choices,lifestyle as adults.eg. a child raised in a meat-loving home may most likely see nothing wrong with killing certain animals for food whiles the child of an animal rights activist/vegetarian may absolutely see everything wrong with killing animals for food in later years. so for most people monogamy is the only thing they know and is thus the only right thing but so do you condemn another from a different background with an opposing view. i believe in the end it is about finding someone with whom you share similar/same ideals,train of thoughts etc. with.
    @ Nana Yaw- i agree that it is usually a push from the relationship than a pull or allure of another (players and nymphos excluded).Cheating may then occur since it presents the easier way out instead of addressing the root cause of the problems.

  43. @ Anney
    “i agree that it is usually a push from the relationship than a pull or allure of another (players and nymphos excluded).Cheating may then occur since it presents the easier way out instead of addressing the root cause of the problems.”

    While all that was said here is true I think we would ll do well if we start from the understanding that as humans we are all very complex with extemely diverse preferesnces anc desires. In studies like “The Extramarital Connection” Atwater interviewed women who had no “push” factor in their marriages; they had satisfying, sex lives, supportive husbands, etc. Yet they still engaged in some sort of 3rd-party relationship. Many times one has a bond with someone other than ones S/O that grows into intmacy or is best expressed through intimate contact, including of course, intercourse.

    Nothing can chage the fact that we are going by sexual rules that were created when the forms of communication, travel, interpersonal contact, forms of employment, demographics, etc were profoundly different than what they are today. So now you may find “the One” and quickly discover that there many other “the Ones” all around you.

    The point is that if we continue to hold to the notion that our mate (or our own selves) has to posses ALL the desired qualities to fulfill all the sexual, intellectual, emotional, spiritul, financial and security needs, we and our children will be agonising over these same issues in time to come.

  44. @ Corey, personally i believe that on average levels that is the reason people may cheat however there are certainly other factors such as even the art of discipline and a strong will not indulge in the allures outside that of a commitment made to a particullar partner (s).
    I also acknowledge the belief that there may be several the ‘Ones’ depending on variant factors such as time and space, maturity,knowledge acquisition, behavioural changes etc.
    No two individual are the same they may possess the same traits of character but it would be expressed up to different degrees individually and also in time and space..Thus i believe the compatibility is to find a match or compliment that in itself is not fixed and can be found in similar extent in others

  45. We cheat simply just because we want to and most importantly because we believe the repercussion doesn’t outweigh the thrill/pleasure of cheating… Imagine say as U cheat on ur spouse/partner, one is guaranteed to have a permanent mark indicating fresh infidelity or a few years will definitely be shaved of one’s life or something along that line, the way peeps go take dey faithful, it would be as though the “circumstances” that encourage cheating have all bought a one way ticket out of human (inter)actions… So when we try rationalizing cheating, lets envision we’ll lose an eye, literally. ..

  46. @Ebenezer Ross

    While I do not dismiss the argument you advance, have all got to understand that this is not and will never be a clear either/or, black/white issue. I also think it is somewhat simplistic or more correctly one-dimensional to state that it’s just “just because we want to and most importantly because we believe the repercussion doesn’t outweigh the thrill/pleasure of cheating…”

    Yes, many people who engage in extramarital sex (note MY avoidance of the value-laden word ‘cheating’) do so partly for the thrill of engaging in something forbidden. But I’d also strongly argue that a great many people who end up in 3rd party relationships never set out to do so but did indeed feel they could conform to the expectation of monogamy. After all, that’s the only “moral” model they were taught. Very very few are ever told of the origins of that model (were you?), that monogamy is not natural among humans and has never ever been, that the monogamous, exclusive model had nothing to do with any god, righteousness or respect for family (less so women) and that while it is possible for many to be monogamous and remain very happy and satisfied within that model, there are equally legitimate non-monogamous alternatives one can adopt if one feels one’s personality or lifestyle or reality cannot conform to any idea of exclusivity.

    And if it appears that I an rationalising, well, yeah, I am. That’s the damn problem; to much emotive responses and not enough clinical, sensible understanding of the facts of what is a complex issue.

  47. Africans cheat in love, and it’s evident in the ridiculously large HIV rates on the continent. It’s tragic, and as usual, it’s the poor women who suffer the consequences. Where is the morality in this continent? Maybe the answer to this question explains why Africa is so desperately poor and corrupt. The best thing you can do is be chaste, although African men’s dishonesty is something you can’t control unfortunately.

  48. @ lola

    In that short post you brought up several sub-levels each deserving of being explored in depth.

    As I have pointed out my position in earlier posts, I won’t rehash it here save to say that while being chaste is ONE answer, particularly in light of the high HIV levels in Africa and here in the Caribbean, keep in mind that adopting (or maintaining) the sex-negative ideas and attitudes of the West bring with them a host of the same problems we are facing right now. It’s ironic how the sexual mores of patricentric Europe and Arabia foster the same behaviours they seek to suppress.

  49. Lola, answer to why Africa is so desperately poor and corrupt lies in the hands of people like you who keep African produce out of your countries, strip-mine resources from here to feed your industries, charge punitively high interests for transactions through by your banks, and have no qualms about paying off, buying or killing politicians to keep them in line… Western dishonesty is really what is out of bounds here.

  50. Do humans cheat? or Are we poly-amorous communal beings? Religion tells us we are meant to be monogamous; studies show otherwise. I agree with @Corey that this issue isn’t black and white there’s a lot of grey.

    • @Simply Selorm – At this point in time I am more inclined to agree that we are poly amorous beings. HOWEVER, people in the relationship have to agree to be ‘open’ ‘polyamorous’ or whatever new fangled term they want to use to describe their love. I recently asked a guy if he would consider telling his wife that he wants a pass so he can sleep with me, his response? “Nana, not all women are like you o”. But how does he know? He’s probably right but if I were in his wife’s shoes I would rather have the option of knowing…

  51. @Nana D- True not everyone is that open, but there could have been the possibility his wife might be open to the idea, maybe join in. One thing i’ve noticed is that a lot of couples miss out on one important thing communicating as “friends”.

  52. For a long time I thought cheating in a boyf/girlf relationship was less of a big deal when compared to cheating in a marriage. I also sort of accepted that husbands cheated and was always appalled when i heard of a cheating wife.
    And then I cheated after 3.5 yrs of marriage. I can find no excuse for my behaviour. I am cheating on my husband with an old boyfriend. It’s purely a sexual thing. I love my husband but he does not set my body on fire in the bedroom. I always stayed away from this particular boyfriend after I got married cos I knew he was trouble. It took us being in a different country (not planned) to get us together. The first time we slept together I thought I would be struck down by a bus as an act of punishment from God. We have carried on in Ghana and meet once a week for sex though we text each other an awful lot as well.
    I am amazed by my lack of guilt at this point. I have also found out that I am less stressed out in my marriage. The days of feeling wound up because I was not fulfilled in bed with my husband are over. Sex is ok with my husband and i think it is more about the emotional connection with him because I do love my husband (no doubt about that).
    But why I am risking my marriage (because he has told me he will divorce me if he ever catches me cheating) for minutes of wild sex a week beats me.
    I can’t fully explain my behaviour. All I know is that I am a happy chick who is not able to go to church no more.

  53. @ Chrissie

    From what I’ve read you’ve explained your behaviour very well, you just don’t realise it. I have outlined what my views are based on the research I have done so I won’t beat that horse.

    I will say that if you get your hands on books like Lynn atwater’s “The Extramarital Connection” you’ll understand why you don’t feel guilt and should not in all fairness even use the very value-laden term “cheating”

    If anything, the main thing you did wrong was deceive through secrecy your husband. And even that as I have explained before, is more because of the way society demands and expects monogamous exclusivity with no regard for the reality and complexity of human sexuality.

  54. @ Nana

    I am in agrement with you that one should be open with ones spouse/partner about non-monogamy and openness

    Easier said than done though; you and I both know that given the forceful way the monogamous, exclusive model is projected onto our consciousness sine childhood, very few people possess the freeness of mind to acknowledge, far less openly explore open, non-monogamous liaisons. Even now in the allegedly enlightened times that form of sexual expression is still viewed as sinful, dysfunctional, immoral, and so on

  55. Nana, have you thought about making a “Like” or “+1” button available? Some of these posts are so good, I’d like to Like them…

    I’d really like to hear more about Chrissie’s experience. i consider myself pretty open to ideas, experimentation, even if I am still the garden-variety male (ok for me to freelance, but wary of my partner’s freelancing… I don’t practice the openness that I expect from others…)

    It probably be a happier world if we weren’t conditioned the way we are, but getting there isn’t easy, as Corey acknowledges.

    • @ Kofi great suggestion which I hadn’t thought about. Sometimes I worry that those like buttons discourage people from writing comments…everybody just get’s lazy and hits like. Definitely worth thinking about though…

  56. @Chrissie: rereading your post, I get the impression – correct me if I’m wrong – that you “cheated” in girlfriend-boyfriend relationships… It seems to me that you’re really returning to what feels natural to you… a more open sort of arrangement… and that with time you might even go farther beyond our current ideological constraints.

    I might be reading too much into it, but I see a parallel in your story with that of the preacher turned atheist featured in the link below.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-atheist-leader.html?src=me&ref=general

    At 50+ and unmarried, I think I’ve known somewhat instinctively that I was no fan of the ideology of marriage, even though I love the notion of coupling.

    C

  57. @ Corey, i was brought up in a home where my father cheated because he lived and worked in another country and came home once a year or so. It was not strange to go through pictures and to have my mom say that is your father’s girlfriend (of course, i was way past my teens then). I understood my mother understood that he needed to sort out his physical needs and she was not upset by that cos he did not love her less because of that. i know my mother has also cheated before.

    A boyfriend of mine broke up with me because i did not show enough devastation when he confessed he had cheated. I cheated on past boyfriends who i loved. I do not readily share this utter lack of care about cheating with other people because they wont get it.

    For the life of me I don’t know how I ended up marrying a man who holds the traditional ideals of marriage so dear to his heart. I tried gently to let him know that I wont be upset if he slept with someone else and that it wont be a deal breaker for me but that was when he told me point-blank that if anyone will cheat in our marriage it will be me and that he will divorce me he finds out i have.

    So, here I am doing what I need to do to keep alive (LOL). My girlfriend the onely who knows what I am up to tells me she is jealous of me cos I walk around now with a glow grinning all over the place. I am happy at home doing all the wifely things and once a week i ‘sort myself out’ with someone else who is divorced, great in bed and is not ready for any real commitments. though he tells me he will marry me if i ever got divorced though he does not expect me to get a divorce cos of him. And that suits me fine cos he is not marriage material for me either.

    I guess after writing all this down, i kinda understand myself. Shame not that many people in our society will understand it though

  58. @ Chrissie

    Now on the one hand your words convey a sense of a person who is selfish and concerned only with herself. I’m sure many reading this have come to that conclusion, given the way we have all been socialised/indoctrinated. Indeed, that may very well occupy PART of your reasoning.

    However, I will always maintain that the real problem stem from the value systems and sexual mores imposed upon us. The interlocked set of egregious ideas about love, intimacy and relationships are the most toxic ideas ever devised.

    I had to chuckle over the part of the boyfriend who broke up because you didn’t show too much devastation. This is what happens when one is trained to and accepts the equating of love with sex, love and commitment with monogamy and most of all the view that your body and emotions are your partner’s exclusive, private property (and vice versa of course).

    It is great that that extra relationship is having the desired effect on your mental and physical state. But it goes without saying though, that you must tread carefully since by all appearances your husband conforms wholeheartedly to the societal and cultural expectations of patriarchy. So do you, it seems; that persistent use of the word “cheating” in spite of your views and actions.

  59. I really need to quit using the word ‘cheating’ LOL. Because it is obvious from my behaviour that it does not affect me that much or feel me with absolute horror as would be expected.

    And yes I do understand why and how I may come across as quite selfish. It is hard though to adequately capture one’s whole personality in a few paragraphs but I am not too bothered if I get slated which I am sure would have happened if I had commented on this back when it was first published.

    I used to worry a lot about what people though about me and I am in a profession where I am expected to care about other people’s welfare and I do it all quite well. As I have grown older, my circle of friends has shrunk and there are now just a handful of people I let into my inner thoughts and of course I have chosen those who have similar mindsets to mine. It just makes life easier. I am sure the average woman past the age of 30 can understand that.

    I just wish society will make our lives easier (well some of us) by not making monogamy such a big deal. I am able to now separate my physical and emotional needs soo well that it scares me sometimes :-). And it is not as sordid as it may seem. My life with my husband is all good and he is my priority in almost all circumstances; the only times I will leave home to hook up with my ex is when he is not home or out doing his own thing. I will not go to extreme lengths to make my meetings with my ex happen. it is not that important.

    Anyway, I will stop right here. End of the day, it is my life and I am making my own decisions that some may get and some may not. I have to live with the consequences of my decisions. It was just good ‘therapy’ to share anonymously for a few days.

    Thank you Corey, you make a lot of sense. 🙂

  60. @ Chrissie

    The only way “society” will make our lives easier by not obsessing over monogamy is if more people like you and me (and yes, you too Nana, don’t feel I’m letting you off the hook with standing for political office) FORCE the change to be made in people’s minds (keep in mind too that the issue of sexual/intimate monogamy is tied very closely to a series of interlocked ideas that, once you follow them, lead to profound political and economic issues and who is allowed to guide them [refer to the controversy with Madonna, Pussy Riot and the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, for instance])

    But that aside, I don’t (I can’t) question the love you say you have for your husband. I certainly will not be saying “well if you really loved him you wouldn’t step out on him behind his back.” Like I said before, the notion that love and fidelity/intimate exclusivity is one and the same is another egregious, toxic idea I think we must start openly confronting and deconstructing along with the idea of the One, the Soulmate, that person who possesses all the qualities that you will want in a life partner.

    I do envy you somewhat, apart from your ex who you still see (does he have a sister by chance? lol) you have a circle of like-minded friends with whom you can open up to. I don’t even have that!! I live in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, an island with so much raw sexual energy and yet so hypocritically conservative on sexual issues. I know of dozens of people, women and of course more so, men, who engage in “horning” as it is called. But to get them to discuss open relationships, DIFFERENT kettle of fish altogethe

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