Marriage Advice

What Constitutes as Cheating

Married people are definitely a force to be reckoned with. When it comes to infidelity of any kind, husbands and wives all seem to carry increasingly vast definitions of exactly what it is that constitutes as cheating.

A few of the more liberal spouses may not be upset by their spouse’s occasional wandering eye or flirtatious advances to members of the opposite sex. After all, as humans it is difficult to ignore or deny that we have sexual feelings and attractions to different people along the way. As long as we don’t act upon them no harm is done, right? For many that is wrong?

Unfortunately to many people cheating is any form of attention that is given to a member of the opposite sex. Some spouses are overly jealous and easily riddled with insecurity when their mate’s eyes do as much as stray in another direction. The fact remains that it is absolutely possible to love our spouse, remain faithful yet at the same time have interest, flirtation and urges for other people. Just because we get married does not mean that we die. Similarly, just because we look or engage in a little adult conversation with another does not mean we shouldn’t be married. There is a happy medium. Sometimes a bit of friendly or attractive competition or flirtation can make things spicier in our own beds anyway.

I can recall a few years ago sitting on the beach with my husband. The two of us were meticulously rating females in bikinis as they walked by (very bad thing to do). Just a few months after child birth I was obviously feeling less than ‘perfect’ and the bantering could have easily made me insecure. But it didn’t. I realize first and foremost that men are going to look – hell most women look at other women. Women are just attractive creatures. Secondly, just because we were pointing out who had the good boobs and the best behind didn’t mean my husband was going to leave me for any of them. You may be thinking, yeah right! But my husband and I have a wild and uninhibited sex life that includes our individual fantasies and cheating for me; would be about much more than sexual attraction. (At least for most of us) Point is, it is much more important in a marriage to stay focused on your own sex life rather than worry or fret about the sex life our spouse might be thinking about having with someone else. We have all heard the expression, “Why buy milk when you have the cow?” Case and point here! Just make sure the milk isn’t sour!

Looking should not constitute as cheating.

Physical infidelity is usually preceded by emotional infidelity. Again, just because our spouse forms a relationship with a member of the opposite sex does not mean that they are cheating. If we carry on, point fingers and constantly harass they may take on the attitude that if they are going to get blamed for it anyways, they might as well do it. There might even be a chance that although they enjoy the opposite sex’s attention, actually cheating hasn’t crossed their mind yet. Eventually however, emotional infidelity can certainly lead to cheating and it should be taken as a warning sign. Of course there are also those types of people who cannot remain faithful and this is just their personality.

So if looking and emotionally confiding in someone is not what constitutes as cheating, then what besides the obvious is? That is a question that can only be answered by individual couples. For some, looking, talking or spending time with someone else is cheating. For others it just has to do with sexual encounters. The bottom line is that if you are with a mate who is; or you are considering cheating the crime has already been done. What makes cheating so bad is that it is sneaky, manipulative, and dishonest breeding lack of trust. Few of us would give or gain permission to cheat if we asked because we know it is wrong. Still other married couples have been able to blissfully share their mates. Whatever works, works! No judgment should be cast.

What constitutes as cheating in a marriage is quite simply any breach of the individual agreement that the couple has with one another. Cheating is a lot like lying; in that it is something most people try to hide that involves a lot of guilt. If you husband or wife can spend time with another person and not hide it chances are they are not breaking your agreement on what is right for your marriage. Some time in the relationship a discussion should involve the parameters of what constitutes as cheating. No husband or wife wants to come home after having drinks with co-workers and be accused of cheating. Being clear about what you expect, want and won’t tolerate at the very beginning can keep both people on the same page.

What constitutes as cheating to one couple may not mean anything to another. It may be that we each share different levels of commitment or that we carry around different ideals about the institute of marriage. Married for a long time, I can say for sure that sometimes I think we have developed a warped definition of the institute of marriage. Married people shouldn’t feel trapped or deprived of anything in life just because they are married. This doesn’t mean that they should have free rein to have sex or spend time with anyone they want; but commonality (based on common sense) should be reached. We all look. Whether or not we touch is something altogether different. We all also think about making love to other people. That is an inherent function of humanity. Acting on that urge too is altogether different. To force anyone to deny simply human characteristics is setting a marriage up to breed dishonesty and various levels of infidelity.

In my mind marriage should be a lot more fun than it has become. This doesn’t mean jumping to another person to get needs met. It does mean sharing our unique human characteristics with each other and laughing about them. To me, all women should sit on a beach and look at half naked women with their husbands. It was surprising and shocking to realize what my husband actually found attractive. Completely different than what most of us would think. Plus, when we got home that afternoon we were very connected, giggly and passionate toward one another. Marriage is about a lot of things. Cheating can be one of those things, but having fun together should be the first. If that is the case you may never find yourself wondering about what constitutes as cheating.

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