A few days ago on twitter, I saw some tweets from someone I followed. He and I have chatted a bit and I know the following about him: He a kinky bisexual and married but keeps his sexuality and desire for kink secret from his wife out of fear of her reaction to the truth.
I have no problem with this. I’ve encouraged him to be open, honest, take it slow, start small, etc. It seems it’s gotten a bit better, but he remains frustrated.
But then, a few days ago, he tweeted he wanted to look for other married men to hook up with behind his wife’s back because she wouldn’t understand.
And that is when I unfollowed him.
I then tweeted about how I will not follow folks on twitter or blogs who are obviously cheating on their partner/spouses. I was a little bit surprised when a fellow blogger and twitter friend suggested I was judging those people and that I shouldn’t label all cheating in one foul swoop of “you are bad.”
I don’t take comments like this lightly. I’ve seriously considered my POV of this, so let me explain a bit. I respect this blogger even though we don’t always see eye to eye on topics. (See his blog post on my harsh line on cheating here). Was I being too harsh?
No, and here’s why: Cheating on your partner and telling the rest of the world about it is like hitting your spouse and tweeting about it, but this time the whole world “celebrates” and “supports” you in the name of “being real” and “sex positive.”
“But cheating happens. You can’t prevent it. People have their own choice in life so sometimes they cheat. It’s not our place to say what’s good/bad or right/wrong”, is it? Well, if you’re intentionally acting in a way that’s against the agreement in your relationship, then yes, I’m going to stand up and say, “That’s wrong.” If it weren’t wrong, you wouldn’t be hiding this information from your spouse!
Not everyone lives by the same rules and there are few universal rules in this world — but if you know its wrong, then I’m not going to encourage you to act on it. For me, that means following you, commenting on your blogs, and therefore saying that, yes, you are a person I would like to know more.
Cheating happens; I get that.. it doesn’t make it any better or more ok than any other action where your spouse gets hurt. For some relationships its a breaking point; for others, its a hiccup in the road. Either way, it’s not a positive action so I can’t support you in it. I wouldn’t support other negative actions like abuse, rape, lying, stealing, or insulting either. It’s a negative action.
Those who cheat seem to be too depressed/frustrated/stressed/angry/unhappy/lonely/horny in their relationship, so cheating becomes an escape from their reality*. For those situations, I really see two options here: cheat, or break up. There is no way to justify cheating.
“Oh, but my relationship with my partner is complicated.” SO WHAT? Relationships are hard. Work on it, or have the basic human decency to tell your partner the truth rather than lie about it. You either disrespect your partner in one of the most personal ways possible, or you leave because the relationship is too broken to fix or you don’t really want to put in the effort. (Or, you really are scum and a douchebag because you just don’t care.)
“Cheating” happens to two people – the one who cheats, and the one who will probably find out at some point. Some couples break up, others don’t. Don’t tell the world you’re cheating via sex blog or twitter and expect everyone to cheer you on and say “Yay! Good for you for getting what you want!”
What about the other half of that relationship? By your own admission you know your spouse wouldn’t be happy about this – so how can I be happy for you?
For the record, I’ve unfollowed people on twitter (tweeters? that sounds dirty) and bloggers for: cheating and frequent spouse bad mouthing. It all comes down to respect – if you can’t respect your partner in some of the most basic ways, then I can’t respect you and I really don’t want to be involved with you in any way. It is my line in the sand.
*I offered, as a sarcastic option, that the only justification for cheating would be if the partner was in a multi-year coma. As in, so much time as passed and there’s no certainty anything will ever be back to normal, then yeah, go ahead and cheat. Would I act by that? I’m not sure. My relationship has the potential to be open, and I think my BF would understand if I needed to have my bed rocked every so often during his years of comatose state.