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We've seen literally thousands of comments and social media posts about the tangled web of former CIA Director David Petraeus' career-ending affair. Readers are talking about politics, the timing of Petraeus' announcement and possible long-term impact. But an especially popular theme that keeps coming up is fidelity and faithfulness, to which some readers say they can relate all too well.
So we posted a survey on Facebook asking readers where that line of unfaithfulness begins. Is it fantasizing, flirting, communicating online, hugging, kissing or having sex? We received more than 2,000 answers to our unscientific poll, and as of 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, the majority of respondents said one may stray without ever making physical contact. About 47% of readers said unfaithfulness can begin when people are sending e-mails and texts without their partner's knowledge.
"I think it is the sneaking and lying that make it infidelity as much as the sex," explained commenter Jean Timmels. Another reader, Tess Gipson, said, "When the relationship has to be kept secret from your partner it is wrong. Otherwise you could bring the person in and sit them down in the living room and visit like a friend!"
Drawing the line at sex was the second most popular choice, but it only got 20% overall.
"Kissing, per se, is meaningless," wrote Michael Wilson.
Indeed, other forms of touch like kissing (13%) and hugging (less than 1%) were picked even less often. Some drew the line at flirtatious behavior (11%). We also heard from a few readers about fantasizing, which garnered the most comments but only 8% of the survey votes. Overall, readers seemed to place a lot of power in the mental aspect of love.
"It starts when you are thinking about it," said Belinda Lipscomb. "Because where your thoughts go, your actions will soon follow."
Where do you think unfaithfulness begins? How do you feel about the Petraeus affair? Please share your thoughts in the comments area below or sound off on video.
I don't know the rule for knowing where the line is. But I know how you know you have crossed it: When you feel the need to mislead your spouse about what you're doing.
The moment you feel the need to hide your "friendship" from your spouse is the moment it becomes a question of infidelity. Emotional affairs are just as damaging (if not more) as physical ones.
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
No one man nor woman should look outside their own home. You can commit adultery via conversations and pictures on internet as well as relationships outside the home. Relationships are sacred and should be treated as such.
Belinda Lipscomb...Get real - evil thoughts only turn to actions for those who are weak-minded. If every idea or thought turned into a reality, we'd have a lot more millionares and a lot fewer self-help books.
I think the rule of thumb, as others pointed out, is thinking about "would you do this action in front of your spouse?"
If an extra-marital affair is even a consideration, you have veered away from "faithful" long since. The word faithful implies that you have a strong unwielding FAITH in your relationship. To stray is the opposite ... a surrender. No you don't have to have sex to be unfaithful. "Unfaithful" usually starts by simply not being present, either physically or emotionally. And often enough, lack of presence becomes distance, then more distance, and then sex. We focus on sex because it's tangible. Unless you're Bill Clinton in the Oval office, you KNOW whether you're had it or not. But presence in a relationship is less tangible, but much more important.
Do not ever be unfaithful to your spouse. It will psychologically devastate you because of having to hide the secret always, and it will destroy her and your family if it was discovered. I did this and I repent of it every day. This includes watching porn or even flirting with another woman in a bar away from your wife.
My wife came back from going out with a friend to hear music at a club almost a year ago. Her friend left her drunk at the club under the care of her friends,(not my wife's friends, who did nothing to keep her from doing something stupid. In her drunkenness, my wife let a guy pick her up and came home at 2:15 am with the guy's stuff inside of her. Two weeks later, I figured it out the hard way, though I had suspected what had happened before that. Antibiotics took care of that little problem. I'm still with my wife, because of my 5 y/o daughter. However, it's not easy. Love isn't enough. When trust goes, the relationship is seriously damaged.
I don't know where the line is drawn. I think it is largely dependent on the point of view of the two people in the relationship. Some women don't care if their husbands go out and get massages with happy endings, believe it or not.
Unfaithfulness = Adultery (also called philandery, anglicised from Latin adulterium) is sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than the spouse
There is no absolute line that applies to all relationships. Unfaithfulness begins the moment you engage in any relationship beyond what your spouse allows. For some, that's flirting. For others, the line is any physical relationship. One easy general rule: if you don't want to tell your spouse about it, you've gone too far.
There are various degrees and shades of adultery/unfaithfulness/infidelity that should be realized. For example, if my wife thinks about or flirts with another man ... while difficult, that could be forgiven. However, if she has multiple sexual encounters, that could not easily be forgiven, if at all, and would never be forgotten. And then there's varying levels between the two. It's not so easy to just ask, "What is and what is not infidelity?" Perhaps the question is, "What is the line of infidelity crossed at which point your relationship would not likely be restored?"
@GaryOh Yikes! Sorry to hear that. Thank you for sharing your perspective, though.
I'm not sure why there's so much debate on this issue. The answer is simple: Infidelity is whatever your partner thinks it is. Nothing more, and nothing less.
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
This is utter nonsense to use this definition out of a book to define what is unfaithful. It has no bearing in reality or fact.
@NelagT What world are you living in? Petraeus and others of his status/strata are all strong-willed and certainly not weak-minded individuals and they choose this disastrous course all the freaking time. My own husband went this way and believe me, he created that desire in his head first, nursed it and went through with it. A few times, much to the damage of our family. It's a choice, a choice of putting your own desires and lusts ahead of everything else and that starts with the consideration of doing so first.
When your wife looks like a cross between Newt Gingrich and Mrs. Doubtfire that's when I think it begins.
I think actively pursuing someone else is cheating. However, I think it is normal to have thoughts and fantasies.
Cheating start with a wife pretending sex ins't important.
The rest is just a matter of time.
This said, not always lack of good sex at home is a wife's issue, but that's where things start going wrong.
Of course, if good sex was there to start (I say IF... cause often it wasn't), then the question is why it isn't anymore. In the end that is however irrelevant, because men will seek actively sex only if what they get at home isn't worth the effort.
Note: sense of guilt sex is the ideal way to push a husband to cheat.
When the home bed isn't a place of sin, then one will get his sin elsewhere.
It's that simple. That is not cheating, it's living.
Now there is a basic unfairness when a man is married with a woman of his age ... cause she will become older sexually faster than he ever will . Petraeus' case is very obvious ..the chick in question is hot and highly sexual .. if you compound that with the wife being 20 years older and probably thinking she could say no to such a powerful man ... and the result is obvious.
To be honest, so be it. He is the man ... too bad this jeopardized his career .. that has however nothing to do with cheating, rather with national security.
Note: there is only one reason I am not cheating on my wife, which is the love and respect I have for my children.
Ain't Marriage Grand?
If you are you know it and don't have to ask where the line is.
The answer to all of this is simpler than anyone wants to admit. Unfaithfulness is not honoring the commitments that two people have made to each other. Ultimately every couple has a different understanding of what it means to be faithful and it is pointless (and perhaps immoral) to try to judge someone else's unfaithfulness to their spouse. That is between them.
One thing that I have learned, since being married, is that you can cheat on your spouse with more than just another person. Anything that takes priority over your spouse (other than God) can be the culprit. For example if you I were to work all the time and it took pruiority over my wife, then I in turn have chosen to cheat on my wife with work. If it is church that takes up all of my time then I can very well cheat on my wife with church. For me, I have cheated on my wife with church. Church was more of a priority at most times earlier in our marriage. I had to learn that God wants me to have a successful family, first. I don't want to judge Mr. Petraeus, but this was probably not the first time he cheated on his wife. Were there many times where work took the priority when he served in the Army. Just a thought, but I believe it is a valid point. Husbands, lets learn from this and do better.
"When your wife looks like a cross between Newt Gingrich and Mrs. Doubtfire that's when I think it begins."
He knew who he married—he did it for power and climbing the ladder and not love (she was the daughter of a West Point commandant when he was there). Then, once he gained what he wanted he probably started straying looking for the next bigger better deal. He's cad through and through. Obama is apologizing for him because he's CHOA (covering his own keister). Obama is not better as many of you will one day find out.
Man, there's some good responses here...from some random guy's "stuff inside GaryOh's wife", to the spot-on comparison of Holly Petraeus to Mrs. Doubtfire.
The French have to be laughing so hard at us stupid Americans...trying to create some one-size-fits-all moral code to which we must all abide.
if "mental aspect of love" is what define unfaithfulness.... then how can we be faithful? can we always/ever be?
in life, you will always meet people you will really like or even love. can we control our feelings/thoughts? in my opinion, it’s totally out of our control. what we can control is our actions, or can we???!! It is hard.. very
This is why no one should ever get married.
I have a feeling it's all the women saying you can't so much as email anyone without the wife's knowledge. SHEESH, really? When you set that kind of ownership expectation on someone, it'll surely end in disaster. Give people their space and know they're human. It's when another guy's pecker enters my wife's vagina that I'll be smashing heads like pumpkins after Halloween.
"But I know how you know you have crossed it: When you feel the need to mislead your spouse about what you're doing."
So, are you being "unfaithful" when you hide your stock option money in a bank account with just your name on it? Or when you help your daughter pay off credit card debt and you don't tell your husband (he wouldn't approve)?
Sex has nothing to do with it. It is when your not honest with spouse.
We have what is called an alternate lifestyle, but our agreement is that we never play with others in absence of spouse. Both are present whether with another couple or a single person. Nor will we play with a married person unless both spouses play. That works for us and has for a number of years. BTW we are senior citizens not young kids.
There are plenty of things that you shouldn't do because they're sneaking around and lying behind your partner's back. The list of things you shouldn't do is pretty much infinite, because people are pretty inventive at coming up with, "But what about this?"
You shouldn't lie to your spouse and sneak around behind their back. But lying to your spouse about being attracted to someone else and fantasizing about them and being flirtatious with them doesn't make you an adulterer, it makes you a liar.
Sneaking around behind your spouse's back to send texts with sexual innuendos or soft-core (PG-13 calendar) pictures doesn't make you an adulterer. It makes you a liar and a sneak.
Engaging in sexual acts, including phone sex or computer sex or torrid embraces, with someone who isn't your partner, while lying and sneaking around behind your partner's back, makes you an adulterer.
No sex act = no adultery.
People want to call everything "that rotten so and so" does "cheating" because we've gotten so blase about lying and sneaking around that saying you ditched someone because he (or she) was a liar sounds like you're being petty.
We don't need to "dumb down" adultery.
We need to get back to taking lying seriously.
Giving your heart away to another person while your involved, is just as bad if not worse than just sex.
Sex is sex and flirting isn't.
I think the better question is "When should unfaithfulness lead to a break-up?" People should be more accepting of infidelity because people change in relationships and not always together. People in their 20s are very different from when they reach their 30s ... 40s ... and so on. If unfaithfulness happens it should be looked at in context to all the things that went right. Now me personally, I would want my partner to leave me if she even had thoughts about another man, but I'm just like that. Lol. I'm also happily single so it's not a worry.
Calling everything adultery creates the perverse disincentive that a married man who finds himself attracted to another woman might as well have as much wild monkey sex with her as he can.
Once he's attracted to that other woman and he's tempted, by you folks' definition, he's an adulterer whether he does anything else or not.
If we've "evolved" to a place where the temptation itself is the sin, he's already "guilty." He might as well get laid.
There's a saying about murder, back from when the death penalty was just expected: the first one's expensive; the rest are free.
You folks' definition of cheating makes being human and tempted very consequence-expensive, but the actual adulterous sex free.
I think that's a bad idea.
its not cheating until a baby appears.
women or men can not have friends of the opposite sex. Think about it. Your husband meets a women and wants to have lunch with her. You know, a new friend. Is this okay?
You husband has been chatting with your brothers wife for a couple hours. They want to hang out the next day. Is this okay?
I think there's a thought process to this that doesn't happen how most people assume. Its not high school anymore. These are adults (if they are old enough to belong to aarp...its not like high school. its complicated. there are kids, houses, retirements, all kinds of things involved. oh, and hormones. And maybe your soul...even though nobody ever knows where their soul is.) There are two things going on here...one is his own human process (probably his own soul pushing him to who he really is), and the second is whether he is being blackmailed with it (cruel).
The human part is probably hormones. He probably towed the line and pleased everyone else on the planet, and thought maybe he wasn't being true to his own self or other people (his spouse) when he (probably accidentally) fell in love (extremely hormonal) with someone else. People change over the course of a lifetime and perhaps he and his spouse parted ways over the years (they may love each other very much, but not they way they want to be loved. it happens.). In fact, he may have been telling her all along. That happens too. Maybe he is being blackmailed with it. We don't know that part yet. Emails aren't usually much to get excited about. Nothing sounds right in email. Do you have to have sex? Can you hug people in the parking lot? I would say that if you are thinking about someone else, you already know something isn't right. Then you are going through your own personal hell trying to figure that mess out. (How can this happen to me. This is completely out of character for me ... if that's true...and you are mostly shocked and saddened by your own self. but you can't live a lie. that would be wrong too. for everyone. for you, your spouse, your kids, whoever you are actually in love with. but you really need to check those emotions. people can have hormones and not even really know the person very well. so, how do you know it isn't just a hormonal attack (feels more like a dumb a s s attack quite frankly.)? so that all takes time to figure out. But even inside of your own self...if you are completely enamored with someone else...you know that's wrong. so it already feels like an affair (creepy). so it doesn't seem to me that it takes sex to feel like you had an affair. its quite alarming actually. especially if you've been against that type of thing most of your life and totally couldn't understand how people could do that. So, you know about how that's going to go over because you were one of them. So...do you stay in a relationship that is blatantly being handed to you on a plate? or go toward what your soul appears to be pushing you toward? Do people stay stagnant when they should be happy, healthy, and going forward, or try to please society? dunno. never made it to the sex part. cancer jumped in and I never made it far enough to answer that.
looking at someone lustfully is normal. Marriage with a single mate is our culture. It's not natural though.
Men and women are programmed for multiple mates.
I've made this comment before on similar topics and some agree and some disagree but agree or disagree, STATISTICS ARE ON MY SIDE.
Marriage as defined by the Ozzie and Harriet era of getting married in your 20's or early 30's, taking the vow of monogamy and then stating "till death do us part" is a failure.
Diagree with me...well my reply is this. The divorce rate hovers around 50%+. Now don't get mired in the weeds, whether it is actually 45% or 52% or whatever, it is well over oh say 40%. And in most peoples opinion in general when you are talking about something that occurs in at least 1 out of every 3 that means it is fairly COMMON. And for me as a society, to call marriage a success, divorce would need to be rare but again it is common.
So what does that mean. I say lighten up on the whole monogamy thing OR don't and continue to have divorce as common as flipping on a light switch. Either way I don't really care I am just offering REALISTIC REPEAT REALISTIC NOT IDEALISTIC alternatives to the rising divorce rate.
I wonder what people think the elegant way to split is? If you are trying to be honest with your spouse (you are married to them and that's who you made the agreement with), seems to me that you would tell them if you are having thoughts of seeing someone else. I told my spouse immediately. (headed off to counseling)
The "emotional affair" angle is a bunch of psychobabble cooked up by dime-store shrinks and shark divorce lawyers. Read your state's laws on adultery; they hold up in court but are very difficult to prove without overwhelming physical evidence (such as biological evidence, a video of intercourse, or both admitting adultery under oath). Everything else is a gray area that is fun to talk about, but it's not considered cheating in a legal sense unless it's adultery (as defined by your state). Lying, etc., but not adultery.
If the head of the CIA does the honorable thing and resigns due to an affair, shouldn't Bill Clinton have done the same over the Monica affair? After all, Clinton certainly had access to secrets that could have been compromised, just like Petraeus did. Petraeus acted honorably and gets blasted by the liberals, while Clinton, dishonored as he was, is worshiped by them. Kind of tells you something about liberals, eh?
This CNN is a whole lotta bullshytt!
I still believe in monogamy. end one before you start another one. but it might take someone pretty strong to pull you out of a bad marriage because we will probably be ousted from the tribe if we don't tow the line.
I just read a new book that's exactly about this issue, by the well-known marriage expert John Gottman and Nan Silver, "What Makes Love Last?" They talk about ten non-sexual ways couples betray each other and how you can avoid them or recover from them. Also, there was a fascinating chapter on how to figure out whether your marriage can be saved after infidelity or is probably over.
Must be the annual pre-christmas angel convention, one holier than thou than the other.
Gawd, I love to look at adult websites, free ones of course.
The truth be known, copulation is just something to do when u got too much time on ur hands and everyone in the US today being underworked without jobs have just that!!!
The more they tauth their own saintliness, the more suspect I get. Jimmy Swaggert anyone? Ted Haggard, Jimmy Baker, Henry Hyde... the list goes on.
So soothing to know that we are surrounded by know it alls who will tell us exactly what counts for unfaithfulness and what their own little moral code allows, for all of us. Geeee thanks.
"Career-ending" huh? Elliot Spitzer has a pretty decent job still, so does Anthony Weiner, and so, for that matter, does both Clinton and his wife.
So much feigned outrage, when in the end, nobody really gives a rats a$$.
Two catty women acting like 8th grade girls. Buncha men with high level security clearances. Nobody keeping their britches on when and where they should. And it's the cat fight from the two drama hos that spills all the secrets.
Lesson: If she's a ho, she's probly a drama ho, too.
My take: unfaithfullness begins with the first concrete action to begin a sexual/romantic relationship with someone who isn't your partner. You see someone your attracted to and have a sexual fantasy - thats not unfaithful. You see someone you're attracted to and you arrange to have coffee alone with them - thats unfaithful - even if you don't even touch.
Your spouse "defines" what unfaithfulness is. PERIOD. That's all you need to know.
Studies have shown that women are more likely to feel betrayed if their partner has an emotional connection with someone else, men care more if it's an actual physical relationship. That's why, guys, you should always tell her "but it was just sex, it didn't MEAN anything".
The FBI agent who began the Jill Khawam Kelley
investigation has been identified as
Frederick W. Humphries II.
The bottom line for ANY leader is the following: if your own wife and family cannot trust you, nobody can. It starts and ends there. If Petraeus' wife cannot count on him, how can the President and anybody else count on him? It's that simple. Leaders such as Petraeus are held to the highest standards of moral integrity; he's a disgrace to all military officers who are faithful to their spouses. Ex., Colin Powell, H Norman Schwartzkopf, etc... great military leaders are typically great family men. Petraeus just failed the test!
I think infidelity begins when you physically touch each other. C'mon it's ridiculous to blame someone of infidelity for flirting or writing emails or letters to someone else I'm not saying it is right to do it, but I don't see couples splitting up due to flirting or talking to other people. The only time I hear people getting divorced or splitting up is if sex is involved or people fall out of love or violence of some really bad issues. let's be reasonable and not hold people responsible of infidelity for exchanging emails or sharing dreams.
Unfaithfulness begins when you need to hide things from your spouse or SO or they need to hide something from you. It can be different for different people because we all have different thresholds of what we'll accept and what we won't accept in a relationship.
Petraeus' faithfulness (or lack of) is between him and his family. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!"
You cannot legislate monogamy or sexual practices. They must be freely given and freely enjoyed. That said, we know from neuroscience that the centers for risk taking behaviors and sexual arousal are touching in the male brain, but not in a female brain. So there is a biological imbalance, however slight, for males vs females in a cultural arrangement that has a biochemical aspect to it. That stipulated, an affair is that moment when your partner no longer captures your energy because someone else has...
I agree that infidelity is when you have a relationship behind your spouses back no matter to what extent the physical relationship is.
But...it is much easier for a spouse to forgive fantasy relationships (emails, texts, online...etc) than actual physical relationship.
In the whole scheme of things I'm not sure when unfaithfullness really starts is what matters. What mostly matters is the "cost" associated with being unfaithful; the torn apart families, the kids, the potential lost revenue. The ONLY winners are the lawyers.
I am far from convinced that the unfaithful are any happier after they have done their deeds.
If you can't tell your spouse that you've been in contact with a person for an extended amount of time, or you got to lie about it, then its CHEATING........
Unfaithfullness begins with the first action that is preceded by the thought. The thought is harmless, and probably natural if there is an attraction. But it's that damn first phone call, text, email or conversation acting on that thought that leads to Perdition, so to speak. Will power and restraint only go so far. Imho.
It's ALL about the lying. I've been in open relationships where there was mutual respect and honesty. It sure felt a LOT better than being lied to.
Everyone lives one life. If you don't live it to it's fullest, you are "cheating" yourself!
In the end, the definitions garnered through societal norms are artificial limitations we choose to place on ourselves.
Folks, it would be great if we step back. Every human is falible. None of us are God. A clear and extended pattern of lying is a problem. An instance or two of infidelity may be a blow to the other partners ego but should not be grounds to throw out the baby. If it is, then the "baby" wasn't very solid. Fantasies can be helpful. Flirtation is fun, not wrong. If people could get beyond their own insecurities, they would realize this.
I'd say it's normal to have attraction for other people when you're married, be it emotional or physical. I think it becomes a form of adultery when you indulge it, either through fantasies or through deepening that connection. A fantasy is not as bad as actual sex, but I believe infidelity begins long before any clothes come off.
Yes, text messages and emails count. They're just other forms for two people to communicate their thoughts.
I uncovered very sexy messages in my wife's FB account. She claims it was just talk and the problem is she knew this guy for years before she knew me and that getting this guy to stop asking her to do things to her breasts would be difficult. I actually didn't find it all that difficult in the end.
Sorry, but emails, texts, those are meaningless. No different than someone "flirting. In some ways nothing but harmless fun. However, when you have sex with someone, you have crossed the line.
Problem is "emotional affairs" as they call it still have a profound impact on a marriage or any other other relationship.
Just remember that the analysis doesn't stop at "where does the line exists between being faithful and unfaithful". It may be different for everyone. More importantly, remember that the real question is that if you cross that personal line, what does it mean about your relationship? The real issue is that you have potentially been lying to both yourself and your partner. Better to get the issue out in the open and deal with it rather than let it fester, potentially for years, potentially for a lifetime. The moral of this is that crossing that very personal line (and more importantly, knowing that you and your partner SHARE the same line) doesn't make one a bad person, it only makes you a person unaware of your own self and as such, is part of a learning/growing process. The more we as a society come to realize this, the less drama we will have in our lives. As a man once said, "Choose wisely."
Emotional affairs are the same thing as sexual ones.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28
Just the tip!
yes, it does count. If you are sexting via text or email, you are more or less cheating on your spouse. It is the first sign that you are willing to cheat
Anything you are "hiding" is wrong and you know it or you would not be hiding and it WILL surface its ugly head eventually!
I live my life in such a way that I have no fear of anything "coming up from my past behavior to bite me in the a**."
What happened to integrity, fidelity, honesty? The politicians in America have beautifully illustrated how to do just about everything WRONG!
It absolutely does start there - I agree that if you can't share the "friendship" with your partner then it already has an inappropriate tone to it
To me, deception is the same as lying... If you have to hide it (unless its for something good like a surprise) then you are lying. If you have to lie, then you are not being faithful.
All flirts are sluts. All adulterers are whores. Words have meanings so we can communicate facts such as these. All men and all women from infancy until death will be preoccupied with sex and no cosmetic religion or social restraint or philosophical belief system can ever alter that fact. Ever.
Theres no "line". I hate it when ppl try to apply rules to everyone like this. Why do people do this - as if we are all the same. Stupid mindless fodder for pointless conversation. Everyone is different.
The LINE is whatever is established in the way of boundaries within you and your partner.
If you havent established such boundaries between you and your partner, well then welcome to a relationship that will likely fail in the future.
it takes two for the relationship to end up like this. I took our marriage for granted and got complacent. Married for 9 years and day after day it was the same routine. My wife strayed and had an email/text relationship for a few months and I eventually found out. The trust issue went out the window and even though she didn't have a physical relationship, it still hurt knowing she was wanting to be part of another man's life. Her looking for emotional support was my fault because I didn't see what she truly needed, if I had, I wouldn't be in my separation. But on a good note, we are trying to work it out.
If your spouse is cheating on you, you need to look at what you are doing in the relationship that is causing the spouse to look elsewhere for either physical or emotional satisfaction. If you are not providing it to your spouse, they will look elsewhere for it.
@dragonpat: if you are hiding money from your spouse, you are not in a relationship...you have a roommate.
I was surprised to read in one of the comments here that some wives don't mind if their husbands get massages with happy endings. I guess those husbands feel pretty lucky. I'll tell you this. If your wife doesn't care about your sexual involvement with another woman, regardless of whether intercourse is included or not, she isn't in love with you romantically. She may value you as a life partner and father; she may respect you; she may love you as a friend, but she isn't in love with you anymore if she ever was. I'm not saying that love requires wild insane jealousy, because that indicates personal insecurity and not love. But a woman in love with a man wants him all to herself. So any "generosity" displayed by these men's wives aren't as lucky as they think.
what a bunch of sanctimonious moralistic self important people . Live your own lives instead of preaching to others.
I didn't divorce my ex-husband because he became emotionally involved multiple times with online acquaintances. When I found out about the relationships, I asked him to end them and trusted that he would. But three times he attempted to take those relationships offline - to meet in person with the women that he was chatting up. THAT is when I flipped out. After the third time, I realized that he would not stop, either the online romances, or the attempts to meet up. And even though he'd been thus far unsuccessful in becoming physically intimate with any of those women, I knew it was only a matter of time. And frankly I wasn't hanging around for that eventuality.
My new husband knows the score, that I don't put up with that stuff. But I also trust him implicitly and know that he wouldn't start doing it anyway. If we ever get divorced, it won't be over something so dumb as not being able to keep his fingers in his pants.
I think every couple should draw their own line.
For me, trust will be gone, and I will be upset for a very long time with as little as constant emails and texts. I won't see it quite the same as full on sexual relationship but I would most certainly say the relationship can easily break.
Anything else, like holding hands, kissing, frequent hugging, and any other physical contact that is inappropriate for two people who shouldn't be involved with each other will definitely end my relationship with my husband.
When we got together and once again when we got married, my husband and I set our boundaries and agreed where it crosses the line. I think every couple should do this.
At the end of the day, I don't give a crap if someone else has sexual relations with someone outside their marriage because within that marriage, boundaries might be different than mine.
As many others here have said I believe that once you make the move to take a friendship or working relationship further than what it is you have committed infidelity. If I do something, be it coffee with another woman, and can't tell my wife about it then I have crossed the line.
That being said, not everyone sees this the same way.
yes. Anytime you take resources from your spouse or family in time, energy, and money, you are cheating your family because you are spending your resources on someone other than who you should be spending your time, energy, money and emotional investment in someone other than your spouse or family.
I too believe that if I do something with another man that I don't want my husband to know about; I've crossed an invisible line.
I agree that no physical contact has to be made for unfaithfulness to be there. When one is emotionally detached and the attention is drawn away from one's other half to somewhere or someone else, one is already not being faithful.
Most women think that infidelity includes a man looking at another woman, smiling at her, talking to her, thinking about her. But it doesn't. Infidelity involves sex. Period. Just like a marriage has to consummated so does an affair. Anything short of that is merely wishful thinking.
Of course it counts. What a stupid question.
hah, i literally just broke up with my "soulmate" a week and a half ago after he stupidly left his computer on (yeah i snooped, but piss off; if i suspect something i'm going to follow my intuition & investigate) & i discovered all the girls he'd been lurking & saving pictures of. girls we knew! i love myself & someday someone else will.
Each couple needs to set their own limits. My wife's position is that if there is any woman out there stupid enough to want to take me, she can have me.
If you are hiding contacts with the opposite sex, you are cheating. For years, my husband hid contacts w/other women. When I found out about them, I would ask what was going on and always get the same response. "She is just a friend and you are being jealous. How could you not trust me?" After a decade together, I found out he had a completely separate cell phone line, anonymous e-mail acct, etc. that went back at least 5 years. He sought out women online and maintained long distance relationships with women all over where ever his office might send him. No, they were not "just friends." I was floored by the women who knew he was married and didn't care. When I found everything out, he was about to have one come visit him. He planned to take a week off work to spend with her while I was out of town for work. I could have gotten over the physical fooling around, but the years of emotional infidelity, the lies, the deceit, and treating me like I was jealous and stupid were too much. I don't know how he can live with himself.
I only wish that every philanderer got as much press coverage as Petraeus so maybe honest people would have an opportunity to see them coming.
Whether it's an emotional affair or a sexual affair BOTH are wrong, no matter which way you try to slice that bread it's WRONG
InFormed99 Speck said:
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
This is utter nonsense to use this definition out of a book to define what is unfaithful. It has no bearing in reality or fact.
Care to explain or are you just trolling? Matt 5:28 is spot on. If you have already been thinking about getting in a relationship with someone else then there is a high probability that you will follow through if given the opportunity.
My husband had an "emotional affair" with a co-worker that lasted about 8 months. I found about about it when I discovered hundreds of cell phone calls and text messages to and from her. When I confronted him about it, he denied an affair, because like many people, he felt that since it never got physical, it wasn't an affair. Well, he was dead wrong. Keeping the relationship a secret, spending money on her - dinner with her when I was out of town, purchase of jewelery, countless lunches, very personal emails on an email account he had kept from me.... I told him he either went to counseling and ended the relationship or we were through. He agreed, and when the therapist confirmed that what he had done was indeed an affair, he was, to his credit, willing to own up and work to repair our relationship, which honestly is still a work in progress. Cheating is cheating - the dishonesty, secrecy, etc.... sex doesn't not have to occur for someone to be unfaithful and the hurt, anger and pain it causes the partner is the same whether sex occurred or not. In both cases, it is a betrayal of trust.
The Bill Clinton Argument is that oral isn't even sex, so therefore, it was OK.
Apparently Hillary agreed.
I'm a very honest person and as someone who has had an affair recently (09/2011), it begins around the fantasizing/flirting stage. That's when your mind starts to think about it and develops an "action plan" to carry out the deception. For me, my affair with a co-worker cost me my job and while I'm employed again, it's for half of what I was making before. That's nothing compared to seeing the look on my wife's face when she knew and I admitted it (before I was fired) and then realizing while I was having my fun, she was home with our one month old daughter. We're still working on our marriage and I let her know where I'm going, when, with who, and will provide pictures. That's for my own accountability and not something my wife devised to "track" me. My phone is always available for a surprise "inspection".
Every night I pray for forgiveness. I'm not here looking for sympathy, but rather to express this topic from a first hand account from the adulterer's point of view. That's what I am and I will have to account for it when I die based on my beliefs. What did me in at work, however, was my ego. That's what gets most people, regardless of their position. It's just a high profile position gets the attention. This is an event that my wife nor I will ever forget. It will always be a part of our marriage and will take a long time to repair. An extramarital affiar almost always starts as emotional and then turns physical.
I am thankful everyday that my wife decided not to leave me and to go through this storm with me. I will end for now. Thank you for allowing me to share my story. God Bless!
I keep it in perspective anytime I am trying to decide if something is appropriate. I ask myself how I would feel if my spouse did the same thing. If I wouldn't want it done to me, then I shouldn't be doing it to someone else.
For me, it wasn't the sexual wandering that hurt the most, it was the endless lying. And after being discovered, defensiveness, plus the lame justifications. And to those who are currently in affairs, it hurts - big time. Relationships can be rescued, but nothing is ever the same.
A female friend once told me that if I invested the time and energy from flirting with her to my marriage, then I might be more happily married. That was good advice.
Flirting with texts or emails always crosses the line. However, if I'm not around and my girl is flirting (just flirting mind you) for the sake of getting something free or out of a ticket, more power to her. I know I'd do it if I could pull it off.
Emails and text can be taken out of context, it just depends how one’s mood is on how they choose to read the message and respond. Everyone and I do mean everyone, likes to get a compliment or made to feel; needed, liked, desired and loved regardless if it is from your spouse or significant other. It also depends on what is being said in those messages. If there is intent to be unfaithful, then one must ask themselves am I cheating. I do not believe it is mine or the general public’s right to pass judgment on anyone. We are all entitled to have our opinions but that’s just what they are opinions. Each circumstance is unique in its own way!
If people would put half the energy into their existing relationships as they invest in infidelity, they'd be much better off. I guess too many people never grew up and stayed in the high school mentality where "falling in love" every week is the norm. Most adults do move beyond that adolescent stage and realize that true love is much, much more than a feeling; it's a shared life through the years, whatever comes.
I don't regret my affair. I would NEVER do it again, but it fulfilled a need I had.
You regret your affairs after your spouse finds out - case closed. Keep your mouth shut, your computer off and your phone away.
At the end of the day we all want one thing. To feel loved and wanted. Anyone who strays is missing that in their relationship.
All this drama! Who needs it? Stay out of these outmoded and medieval institutions like marriage! Then, you don't have to account for your personal behavior to anybody! No wife/husband is going to dictate to me what I can and cannot do with my genitals. Case closed!
When someone engages in conversation and/or actions that they don't feel comfortable sharing with their spouse, this is where it all starts.
I don't know which world we live in and who made all these rules. Cheating is the last reason that could break your marriage. Usually it has to do with many other things. I think it is very healthy to seek sex/romance out of marriage occasionally to keep it much stronger. I don't believe that you have to share everything with everyone. Remember lastime you shared everything with your parents who love you the most. The point is we are all sold the morality (man made) so much that we forget that we are humans with all the weakness and needs.
The real problem here is that women want men to be like women and men want women to be like men.
By the laws of nature, man is not monogamous. We are trying to subdue that genetic history that tells us to propagate. In today's society we are trying to control those built-in urges, to notice the other sex and wanting to act.
In the beginning we built rules of sexual taboo so we won't kill each other. The race must not become extinct, by it's own hand.
Those rules were necessary for the survival of mankind. We are now more socially sophisticated but the flames of those urges have not yet been extinguished. It will take a million years or more.
You know if you've shared too much with someone outside of your marriage/committed relationship whether it is physical or emotional. If you and your partner made promises to be faithful to each other this includes being emotionally faithful as well. If you disrespect and diminish your partner by sharing things about them, discussing them, belittling them or otherwise putting them down (in person or electronically) and would be ashamed if your partner discovered these transgressions, then you have your answer regarding whether the behavior is wrong or "cheating" within YOUR particular relationship. The statement that has been used here quite often is an excellent barometer: If you would not participate in a particular behavior if your partner was there to witness it, then you know it is "wrong", or at least a behavior that falls outside the boundaries of trust most people cherish within a committed relationship.
In a word :Yes.
Texts and emails..
If you find the need to hide your texts.. and emails.. then I would say you have a problem.
If something is innocent.. one doesn't hesitate to share things with the people they love, or are supposed to love.
Unless you're naked, it's flirting... not cheating.
A friend of mine had issues with her husband and one of his co-workers. He adamantly denied any "physical" contact with the woman, but would act all weird whenever he'd talk to her on the phone or email her. I then told my friend, "If he pays more attention to this other woman, if he has a better relationship with her, and is closer to her than you, you have a problem." Unfaithfulness doesn't necessarily require touching. It's all in the emotional contact you have with that other person.
I think so many miss the boat.. As soon as the man or the woman doesn't keep up with the relationship.. My wife of many years suddenly didn't want to do anything at all, she was content to stay home or stay in the hotel when we traveled, I was alone for about 8 years and then I had affairs, enough was enough, it saved my sanity.. I finally left her and I'm glad I did, I have a great wife now who I would never cheat on..
Yeah. Emotional cheating isn't cheating. Did a five-year-old write this article?
Is your free time worth supporting a corportation who would survive into the next 200 years despite your death by decapitation from wolves?
Didn't think so.
First of all, I have been married happily, without kids, working together for more than 30 years. With all this talk about fidelity, I think "when did it all start and why?" What you ask? The desire and need to join up as husband and wife! I know some have a religious explanation, but I prefer scientific discovery of how humans came out of the jungles and joined into clans. Oh, if Adam and Eve were the first couple, who did their kids have kids by? I believe that random sex occurred within the clans till humans started to settle down and possess land and other items. At this point, the man (stronger of the two, who had to protect the possessions) wanted his stuff to go to his offsprings and not someone else's. So now that we know how fidelity became important, we can think about how it is still important in our lives today.
First there is a difference in the sexes, the woman of the past needed to keep the man to support her and the family, so it was more important for her to make him believe she was true. There are working societies in the world today where things get all mixed up from our norm and they work for their situations. And for most men, it is the thrill of the chase and conquer, the variety, so it is un-natural for them to be true. As we see in the responses, there are many different thoughts on fidelity and they each can be right for the right couple. I suspect that in the future, it will not be as big an issue, as men and women become equal in earnings and ownership - oh how the Taliban hates the thought of that! I wonder were most of the American men will be on this subject? The world is really very small and people are the same the world over, just to differing degrees.
So, would I take my wife back after 30 years of marriage, if she had an affair? I probably would, and I would ask how it went. Would she do the same for me, I don't think it would go very well for me. So before you take the jump, know how deep the pond is.
To quote the late Nora Ephron in Heartburn, "If you want monogamy, marry a swan." Who wants to be singlehandedly responsible for another's happiness?
Wow, thanks everyone for your comments. I have been reading through them and appreciate your thoughtful, heartfelt, fiery and even humorous posts. (Reaches for wolf repellant)
Ok, let me get this straight. Every woman who has read or watched Twilight or 50 shades of grey, desperate house wives, or sex in the city have cheated on their signifigant other? Wow... How narrow minded and hipocritical that the thought of anything else at any given point of time, without actually acting upon the thought constitutes as cheating.
Unfaithfulness may begin when the husband enjoys the over-the-top attention and admiration from another woman, and in return expressing his most humble appreciation. The exchanges continue, forming a close bond only they understand. If you are not sharing your new friend with your wife, you are cheating. Pick one, not two.
Unfaithfulness begins when either wife or husband begins to act in a manner to anyone else the way they act only with the other. Even if the acts are permitted such as in swingers or polyamory.. Permission is not what determines unfaithfulness or not.. Its a complete bag of hot air for a couple to pretend that its ok for them to extend their relationship to a third party. All that it amounts to there is a mututal recognition that (A) They think they deserve more than one lover at a time. (B) They think that it puts "spice" in a relationship.
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That is so true!
why is the USA run by big businesss, it should be gov't be the ppl for the ppl, not big business for big business.
Too much big money buying favors in the government!!!
me laugh at all u yanks who bow to big business, remember the banna wars???? I doubt it ,big business runs the government, And they been running it bad, kick the big government and their influence!!!!! Unfortanatly all government is ran bu the corrupt big business!!! time to ammend who can support a gov party. not big businesss!!!!
Like isay, time for big business to get out of government, tthe rest of the world knows we only big business talkin, big business only makes money for the 1% who hoard it and laugh at the rest of us!!!!!!!!!!1
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