Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The benefits of cheating

THIS GUY says that cheating is sometimes beneficial to a relationship.

That once a man conquers his lust, he'll realize just how important love is to him. He claims that even at it's worst, cheating can lead a man to realize his relationship was over long ago and save him from staying in an otherwise bad relationship.

But is it not the cheating what makes the relationship bad?
And can't just the IDEA of satisfying those lustful urges lead someone to understand all that is at stake?

I don't think the deed must be done with the neighbor's wife in order for someone to realize all the benefits of the relationship. But I do understand that taking someone for granted is what may lead a lot of people to find excitement in someone new.

But if it takes cheating to realize what you have... then the old saying is true.

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

Because no self-respecting person is going to stick around after they've been the victim of cheating... and gone is all they will be.


Chrissie said...

So is this guy crazy, or is he on to something?

And I'm always game for the conversation of "what constitutes cheating" in the first place.

(PG 13 terms please).

Anonymous said...

Because no self-respecting person is going to stick around after they've been the victim of cheating.

i used to think this way. but not so much anymore. it's not as much of a deal-breaker as it used to be.

not because i lack "self-respect", but because i realize that self-respect can sometimes be overrated, and worse can sometimes be self-destructive.

and also because the human condition and interpersonal dynamic are much too complex to be reduced so simply. cheating might serve a purpose; preventing it might be counter-productive.

i believe, it is our own insecurity that leads us to draw that line, to make that ultimatum: "cheat on me, and i'll be gone, because i wouldn't be able to live with myself having to face you after you've eviscerated my self-confidence and self-esteem because of your cheating. my notion of self-preservation would not be able to handle it."

this is the psychology of the no-cheating policy, i believe. the person being cheated on immediately views themselves as a victim in the affair. but perhaps, if they did not view themselves as victimized, they could use the affair to their advantage, resulting in more power and possibly a healthier relationship.

but i dunno. i could be way off here. i've just been questioning a lot of my "beliefs" lately. and i figured i'd "challenge" you again.

jovial_cynic said...

Like Anon, I try to take a more understanding approach. There's a tremendous amount of wisdom that needs to be applied to determine if cheating is a deal-breaker.

If I ended a relationship because my wife cheated on me, my inability/unwillingness to cope with feelings of betrayal and jealousy are the last fail-safe measure that's broken.

If she cheated and wanted to stay in the relationship, I have to determine if the cheating is a sign of weakness (am I willing to deal with weakness?) or an indication of malice and disregard for the relationship (am I willing to deal with such malice or disregard?). And having the wisdom to judge between the two is vital; some people stick around in malicious relationships because of their own co-dependent issues.

In any event, I think that there's no answer to the question. Every situation has to be judged based on its own merits.

Chrissie said...

Because no self-respecting person is going to stick around after they've been the victim of cheating...

after writing the above part of today's blog post, i at first, deleted it. saying "that's too harsh." so i tried to say something similar in a softer way...

ultimately it brought me back to saying it just as it came to me the first time... for a few reasons.

first, i'm a huge fan of self preservation. selfish as it may be, and i say this now because i can remember those times when self-preservation, self respect, wasn't my top priority. i can remember when i questioned my own emotional responses to certain things based on the ideals of other people, rather than my own. and those were the times my self respect waned... those were the times i put up with things that not only hurt, but scarred and changed me.

and i can't think of a single time when choosing self respect over acceptance landed me in a "destructive," way. as you said anon, self-respect can sometimes be overrated, and worse can sometimes be self-destructive.

i think those times my life and my "self" seemed most readily to falter was when i accepted acceptance over self preservation.

and this isn't to say that i cannot accept the behavior of other people if they choose not to agree with my usual values/morals/ideals.

what i can't accept is that there way is right for me.

if it's our own insecurity that leads us to make these ultimatums, can that in itself not prove that we're at the very least, secure with the insecurities we see in ourselves? secure enough, to know... what we can and cannot handle.

i don't know that i'd personally say that i could never forgive a cheater, as JC points out, each circumstance is different and can't be judged from the outside.

but i'll never say that admitting that i can't handle it is evidence of my own insecurities as much as it is evidence of my own boundaries.

and i don't think boundaries are always evidence of a lacking self worth, or personal insecurities.

sometimes they are simply evidence of experience.

Anonymous said...

well, i cannot argue with your personal feelings on the matter; they are yours and you certainly are entitled to them.

but i'll point out a few things (just food for thought):

i believe self-preservation was always the top priority, even when you thought it wasn't. the definition of self-preservation might have changed for you over the years: when the "acceptance of others" wasn't working for you anymore, perhaps you turned inward, to some personal internalized judgment of yourself or of other people (and, you know, i'm not just talking about semantics here, but at the entire concept of "self-preservation" -- what it means to you, what your perception of it is -- because understanding our motivations for self-preservation is critical in understanding who we are and why we do the things we do).

also, boundaries and insecurities are essentially synonymous to me: they both serve to constrain you in some way.

experience can also result in constraint.

and constraint may or may not be a good thing. constraint will protect us from being hurt. but how often is the hurt something we could have dealt with if we had to? and how often does the constraint prevent us from achieving something that would have been worth the risk?

food for thought... food for thought... i don't have answers on these things... just questions... lots of questions... i personally feel my psyche is under a coup-de-questions... answers to which will come later... maybe... i hope...

Chrissie said...

the idea that self-preservation is always a top priority and changes over time is something i need to think more about... because i wouldn't immediately agree with you. i'd say, "no, i can remember the times it played second fiddle to distraction. i can remember the times, i cared less about myself than i should have."

but i won't answer that way... for real... because maybe i did need to preserve myself then, that way with distraction/simplicity or something similar.

what i do disagree with is your idea that insecurities and boundaries are "essentially synonymous." and while i accept that they are this way for you for me, they aren't.

for me, insecurities are rooted some place deeper and darker than boundaries, i think.

they come from a place full of questions while boundaries come from learning.

hmmm... if life were a map, boundaries would be the highways and paths we take to our destination... and insecurities would be the paths untraveled... the uncivilized spots where we may get lost.

perhaps one path is "safer" but isn't that what self preservation is all about?

Anonymous said...

It's really very simple -- cheating isn't bad because it's sex with someone else. Cheating is bad, first and foremost, because it shatters trust. The act afterward is the result, but it's really the decision (and yes, it's a DECISION) to be with someone else while you are in a relationship that is the problem. If you respect the relationship and your partner, you do not cheat. It's that simple. Anything about "fulfilling urges" and "I couldn't help it" are garbage.

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