Can we cheat on someone we’re no longer with, or Before we met them? Perhaps you thought you’d be off the hook after it’s over? Not so fast
For those of you just joining in, I’ll reiterate that I am not trying to promote cheating. In fact, I think it is wrong; however, I’ve done it – and many others seem to do it, so i figure it’s a relevant, if not interesting aspect of relationships to discuss and try to gain a better understanding of. If it isn’t blatantly obvious, I have no marriage counseling credentials. I share data from the field which hopefully you’ll find amusing – bonus if applicable.
I was thinking back on something that happened a number of years ago after one of my more serious relationships had ended. About four months after we broke up, I had a spontaneous one time hookup with a friend of the person I’d broken up with. Not one of her closest friends – but a good one.
Is it possible to cheat on someone you’re no longer with? Before you dismiss the possibility, let me tell you what happened.
When the hookup occurred, my ex had already started dating someone else. I’d hung out with my ex’s friend Liz and her husband many times during the previous three years. I always liked Liz – as a person, and she seemed fond of me. She was a creative, hippie, laid back type – appreciated my art. She was also about eight years older than I, same as my ex.
I ran into Liz mid afternoon at a Patrick Malloy’s on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach.
I guess I had the day off from my job at the time. I ended up at the beach doing some day drinking. I don’t remember why, but Liz was also doing some solo day drinking – living by the beach, one didn’t need much of a reason to do such things.
I walked into the bar and there was Liz – cool to run into her. We were both already buzzed, and downed several stiff drinks together at the bar. It turned out Liz and her husband were in the middle of a separation. (we were about the only two customers in the bar – sitting right at the bar shown below – half way down.)
Liz was forward with me and I don’t remember showing any resistance. After about an hour and a half, we walked to my place a couple blocks away and had inclusive sex. And, when I say inclusive, I’m not talking about inviting minorities to join us! We covered a range of sexual activities, let’s put it that way.
So, did I cheat on my ex, or was it fair play given that my ex had started dating someone else? Would it have been better if it happened a year or two later and not so soon after our break up? Perhaps a quick, standard bang would have not been as bad? Does it matter that the friend was more the instigator? (75/25 her to me probably) Does it make it any less awful of me, that I passed on a second round when Liz called me a few weeks later?
On the other end of the temporal spectrum, there are some who consider it cheating to sleep with someone before one meets their spouse..
“First, I was taught that if a husband and wife had sex with other people before marrying, they had, in effect, already cheated on each other. And if you know your spouse has cheated on you in the past, how can you know that they won’t cheat on you in the future?”
“Second, I was taught that if you and your spouse had had sex with each other before you got married, you also wouldn’t be able to trust each other. Why? Because you would forever know that your spouse didn’t respect and love you enough to wait until marriage to have sex with you, and also that your spouse wasn’t able to keep from committing sexual sin.”
(These quotes found on a discussion you can find here)
Most would probably find such an expectation a bit extreme, but are there no limits? If your spouse had sex with half the people you know, with half your town, or chose to engage in extreme sexual activity prior to meeting you, would that be a betrayal of sorts? Should they have put forth some amount of restraint, in respect for their future spouse – knowing they’d probably get married some day?
What are your thoughts? As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences and your thoughts on the subject.
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