Surely KB's Cheating Dissertation  

wobejaz 54M
9 posts
7/9/2006 8:06 am

Last Read:
7/14/2006 6:44 am

Surely KB's Cheating Dissertation

This was written by a friend I met here and I cannot say it better. Here it is with only her name removed from the bottom. She knows how to post.

I often wonder if anyone really even THINKS about this stuff at all. It just seems that the evidence bears out that humans are not really very good at monogamy, so why does no one look at our cultural attitude about "cheating" with some intelligence and logic and see that there might be another way to do this. As with most things, there is more than one right solution.

I think it is a shame in our culture that we set couples up for failure by creating this expectation that when you marry someone, that person should be able to meet all of your needs for the rest of your life. That’s just unrealistic, and it creates a whole set of expectations about what a relationship is and should be that no one person can really meet in a way that is healthy. Life is long, and we will have many, many needs over the course of it, some emotional, some sexual, some for stimulation, companionship, shared interests, as well as relationship needs. The current attitude, that by getting those needs met we betray something sacred, just sets us up for failure. I think when people “cheat”, it often has nothing to do with low self esteem or immaturity or sex addiction or whatever else common cultural thought would like to have us believe, and rarely even anything to do with the person we are married to. Mostly the reasons are personal, meaning they only have something to do with each individual in the relationship being explored, and the connections that all people should create with one another. Connection and learning and exploration of the self is an essential part of a well lived life. We all have a need to connect in various ways with a multitude of people over a lifetime.

By now you probably think this is somehow a warped justification of indiscriminate sex. For the record, I’ve tried indiscriminate sex and found it quite unsatisfying. Let’s try and think in terms of relationships and connections with real people rather than sex, and consider how we might get over this culturally imposed idea that we are betraying something. When you have your second child, do you love the first one less? When you find a new friend, do you suddenly have to dislike the old ones, or like them less, to have a relationship with the new one? Whether it’s a friendship, or an emotional relationship or a sexual one, it's not like you have to take love from one person in order to give it to another. Love is kind of cool that way in that it’s pretty much an infinite thing. I think we convince ourselves that we love our spouse less when we have a relationship with someone else only because we’ve gotten caught up in our own cultural insistence on the way a marital relationship ought to work.

One could argue as well, that the majority of these relationships wouldn’t even fall into the category of love. Over a lifetime, we form connections of varying degrees, with hundreds of different people, for a multitude of reasons. There are a finite number of hours in the day of course, so some could argue you are taking away time, but what do you bring back to the primary relationship after those connections? I believe we SHOULD have lots of connections, of all types, with a variety of people. It makes us better people and happier people. The majority of the pain of a supposed betrayal comes from the culturally established necessity for dishonesty, and again the idea that when a relationship occurs it's for one of the reasons mentioned above. It seems like people would be so much happier if they could really just be honest and trust each other. Psychologists keep telling us that no one can make us happy, we have to make ourselves happy, then we set up this expectation that this other person is going to be able to make us happy… it doesn’t seem to make much sense.

The liberal side of me says we are essentially sexual creatures, and it forces us to cut off our sexuality in a relationship when we can't admit to being sexual creatures because that's somehow a betrayal. Cutting off your sexuality in a relationship is never ever a good thing. Many women, and probably men as well, think they share everything with their spouse, that they can talk to them about anything and they are very close. The reality is there is no way he can tell her he really thinks the next door neighbor is totally hot , or that he is bored silly in their sexual relationship and could benefit from a jump start to his libido. Or that she is free to say she’d really like to try something sexually that he would probably think is pretty kinky because she thinks he might think less of her because of it. So that creates a wall, and pretty soon it becomes a lot of walls, and walls are bad in a relationship. We just don’t communicate very well when it comes to sex because we aren’t really allowed to talk about it. To let the other person be who they are in a relationship, even a sexual creature, takes a lot of trust and honesty.

Then the conservative side has to acknowledge that there are benefits to a long term relationship that should be preserved. Common goals and compatibility and having a family together are things that can't be replaced. I've been with a few men over the years and even loved a few, but I can honestly say I've met very few that could even come close to replacing my husband. He and I are just a good fit, we like a lot of the same things, we have similar interests and tastes and there is something to be said for being with someone that has just SEEN your life. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’m solidly committed to him and our family and I think there is enormous value in that. We have a lot of shared stuff that creates a valuable bond, not to mention that I believe strongly that when you have kids with someone it's your responsibility as a parent to make the best of it to a certain degree. So why would I give that up? Why would I want to? Why does my culture tell me I must?

You’ve probably figured out by now that my husband and I have a fairly open relationship. We’ve been married for 25 years, and it’s been open for most of them, although it has gotten more honest over the years as trust has built. There have been long periods of time when we were busy with kids that the whole issue didn’t come up. But we are sexual creatures, so there have been some relationships in there of varying intensities and meaning. For myself, I have learned a lot from ALL of the people in my life, regardless of whether the relationship was sexual or not, and I’m very grateful for that. I honestly do think that if people would trust each other and be more honest and open, that our relationships would be healthier. I also believe strongly that if people were all able to make connections of all types where they needed to without it being perceived as a threat, that it would put more meaning into our sexual relationships and keep some of the sickness out, and there would be fewer divorces. It’s who we love and how we love them and the connections we make with others that gives our life meaning and I just think that if we were able to do that freely, we would come to see the real value of a long term relationship and know that’s worth preserving.

That’s my theory anyway.

florallei 100F

7/12/2006 8:20 pm

Hello W,

Yes throughout man's history different societies have created so called moral laws supported by religion, tradion and cultural beliefs. It is interesting that they lump adultery as bad as murder and other hideous crimes.
Life is fast moving...intensity of love with a partner does not remain the same over time but with commitment, endurance and other characteristics it helps them remain together as certain moments brings on waves of love to keep it going. I agree with this writer that no one person can fulfill all our needs and neither can we do the same. It is a fallacy that Hollywood and society have brain washed happily ever such is hard...unfair...painful and sometimes we are lucky to have good moments.
The writer is one of the lucky few couples who shares the same thinking and views with her partner. Why can't people live out their lives as they so like and choose? I am not promoting callousness and disregard and hurting others. If a person or a couple chooses a lifestyle why are they made to feel like freaks if they come out.
I know I have changed my views on many things as I become older and not too quick to judge...but it looks as though for some of us who have such attitudes will have to remain hushed unless in the company of others whose attitudes are similar.

wobejaz replies on 7/14/2006 6:47 am:
Thanks for your astute comments. I need to bring my spouse into the last century on this and I'm not bitter about it (now). She's loving and seriously engaged, so we're making great progress in the balance between us and self-knwoledge.

I'm being more honest about what I need. Now, she needs to tell me more about what she needs.

Become a member to create a blog