Cheating 8: Is it Really Sex or affection we Want or is Cheating a Settlement?

A lot has been written about how men cheat for the sex and affairs for women tend to be more emotional. As often, people talk about how cheating is a replacement for something that a person is not getting from their marriage or spouse. How often is it more, and less than that? Do we ever cheat as a settlement for something unrelated to our marriage or significant other, something greater we wanted?

How great can the greatest sex be? The greatest I can imagine, is only a matter of moments, an hour, a day, a memory. What is that compared to the most significant aspects of a life? Life long friendships, parents, children, success, fame, meaning, a purpose, adoration, safety, hope, admiration, or reconciliation, and other things, may be bigger, last longer – and in whatever way, be more significant to our lifetimes, than a fuck or affair.

This is not to say that sexual desire and emotional care are not significant needs. If a good fuck or some romance is truly all that’s needed, and some kind of affair can answer a painful deficiency of such things- cure long term anxiety, then great – we’ve likely found our solution. If we’re going to go that far and take such risks – throw down and lay down the chips, let’s be raw freaking honest about why were doing it, and make sure that infidelity is merely a supplement to what we’re missing in our relationship, and not a substitute for something else more profound; something,  that with our cheating, we’re choosing to give up on. A settlement.  A consolation. A forfeiture

Is it brave to venture outside the relationship if it is in  lieu of something we truly want – that’s actually the cause of the void?  Granted, there are things that have no recourse. If we lose a child, no amount of bravery or honesty with self is going to fill that void, hopefully there’s enough sex and medication to get us through such devastation.

But, shouldn’t the question be asked? If we’re ready to put our most significant relationship on the line – do something so bold, we might as well do just that – and make sure that having an affair isn’t a diversion to something more fundamental we need –  something we don’t think we can obtain or manage -something that takes even more audacity to confront.

If it’s romance and fucking we’re truly needing, then I say we make damn sure what we go after is good; However, no matter how good it is, if we’re doing it as a cop out, do we not fail ourselves and risk harming others for not?



Cheating Series:

Cheating: Issues, Questions & Implications of shifting attitudes towards marital infidelity.
Cheating Part II: How much flirtation is healthy and when does it become infidelity?
Cheating III: Sex in Head, Mental Infidelity
Cheating IV: Anatomy of Infidelity
Cheating Part V: Loopholes, Free Zones and Grey Areas.
Cheating VII: Time Warp Infidelity – Sex After or Before the Relationship?
Cheating 7: When You Stumble Upon Much Better Sex Outside Your Relationship
Cheating 8: Is it Really Sex or affection we Want or is Cheating a Settlement?
Cheating 9: Considering Special Features in Defense of Sexual Infidelity
Cheating 10: Looking for a bit of fun before spilling the beans
Cheating XI: How Not to Sleep With Married People

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18 thoughts on “Cheating 8: Is it Really Sex or affection we Want or is Cheating a Settlement?

  1. I suspect that a lot of people cheat because they are secretly polyamorous (but think that they’re monogamous) and torn between society-enforced monogamy and their attractions for other people.It’s not the only reason, but I think it’s an overlooked one.

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  2. Pingback: Cheating 9: Considering Special Features in Defense of Sexual Infidelity | The Sinner Saint Diary
  3. If you’re ‘trapped’ in a relationship for appearances sake and/or stability and/or financial reasons then yes it’s a settlement. You can be trapped in that relationship and getting sex within it or trapped in something amicable but your sex life with your husband/wife has died. In which case having sex outside the relationship might be the only thing keeping you sane enough to stay in the relationship. In which case is it a bad thing or a good thing? It’s bad because you are cheating but if the alternative is divorce, traumatised children, a broken home and shattered finances what is the lesser of the two evils? Cheating doesn’t necessarily make you poly. If you’re not having a sexual relationship within the marriage and you focus on one person outside it, it’s essentially the sexual relationship you would be having if you weren’t married. And yes, men cheat as much for emotional and affection reasons as they do for sex.

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    • You are a wise one! Yes, most every “legit” article will say different, but if you know men – which most women do – they cheat for emotional reasons too.

      And, I agree – there are some who are good people, good spouses, yet sexually deprived in their marriage. Some cheat and then tell and it fails. Others Tell first, that they want to, and it fails. Some cheat and never tell, and some of their marriages last. And, as Ii wish upon everyone, And, like you say, I can think of at least three people in particular that would not have stayed married if not for having an outside source for sex.

      I hope, obviously, that many are fulfilled in their marriage and don’t encounter such a crises.

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      • Most people don’t go into marriage with the expectation of infidelity, or divorce. But shit happens. There are many ways to deal with problems. And ‘loathe’ though I am to say it, I do actually think that cheating is a way to deal with it. Long term? Not sure. I know of people who have been doing it for years and are still married. Staying in the marriage for them is why they cheat. Because divorce or separation is not an option all round. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it’s ideal. But I can see how the divorce would be infinitely more damaging than an affair that goes unnoticed by the other party provided the cheater can live with their conscience.

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