Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June/ Chapter 16: Cheating

Society views cheating as bad, but that's a really simplistic way of looking at cheating. For one thing, across borders in the East and West over 50% of people have cheated at some point in their lives. So looking down on people who have cheated or who cheat is usually hypocritical.

In the UK, 47 per cent of married men, and 35 per cent of married women have cheated. This includes sexual as well as emotional affairs that reach a level of intimacy which would be just as damaging as a sexual affair. That's just married couples, so I am sure even more single people have cheated.

From what I've seen and heard in HK, over 50% of men cheat. But before the ladies point fingers, a lot of girls cheat as well........I know first hand. Also, a lot of girls don't even realise they are cheating when moving from relationship to relationship. Many girls will stay in a relationship when they are not happy or satisfied rather than breaking up, and will only leave the guy once they have found someone better. This form of relationship hopping is the same as cheating because it's usually overlapping, and involves hiding the facts from the first partner, until the girl is sure the new partner is better.

I've also cheated myself. Cheating used to be something I totally looked down on, and I didn't do it till my last relationship because I wasn't happy. But it was a mistake, and cheating is still always bad. But at least now I know why people cheat, and know calling it bad is too simple.

There are several forms of cheating.

1) The I don't give a damn about this person affair. Some people are just with another person for companionship, and they don't really care about the other person or their feelings. Since they don't care they will go do whatever they like.

2) The do I still have it affair. Lots of middle aged men who've never cheated get this urge because life has gotten so dull after many years of married life.

3) The revenge affair. Some people are so bitter from a relationship they will deliberately cheat and let the other person know for revenge.

4) The I am in love but still going to cheat affair. Lots of people have a stable partner but things have gotten stale and boring, but they don't want to split up with that partner because it's comforting and beneficial to be with that person. So to add excitment or pleasure into their lives they go cheat.

5) The I am not happy affair. sometimes a relationship is missing something, or isn't working right, or something needs to change. When someone in a relationship is not happy but not ready to give up on the relationship, they will make this mistake.

I'll analyse the last two types.

With regard to in love but still going to cheat........Marriage in a lot of Asian countries seem to be different from the West. A lot of married couples seems to have accepted that as long as the husband provides then the women will pretend they don't know the husband is cheating. In the West marriage is seen as much more sacred and cheating is a much bigger sin.
In HK a lot of men have paid for sex, I am guessing at over 50%. It's one of the reasons I feel divorce rates are lower in HK (34%) compared to the US (55%). Obviously there are other factors such as a later marrying age.

The strange thing is, a lot of men will truly love their wives and still go pay for sex. For them, this form of cheating is simply a physical and not emotional thing, and a release of sexual desire. It's very common in Asia and not looked down upon at all by the men. In the US or Europe paying for sex would have a stigma attached to it and looked down upon even by men. I don't quite know how to judge this yet, because although it seems wrong, it's kept a lot of marriages together.

With regards to the I am not happy cheating........Sometimes people grow distant, there's no passion anymore, things are boring, communication has broken down, and then you realise there were a bunch of differences between you and your partner you had never seen before. When someone else comes along at at such a low point in a relationship and they seem fun and attractive, the cheating is about finding the comfort and companionship you can't find in your own relationship.

Cheating can be a good thing if you realise that you are at fault yourself, and you have not put the effort into the relationship that your partner deserved and that was the reason for more distance being created. If you come to this realisation and the other person is still important, then go fix the problem and treat your partner with the same respect, and renewed effort as you would with someone new.

If there are problems with your partner and even though you've tried to communicate and improve the situation and it still doesn't work, then it's time to split up. But it's much better to get to this stage without ever having cheated in the first place. At least that's fair and honest.

What ever the reasons for cheating. There's a three golden rules. Cheating is like opening pandora's box, once you've done it once it can't be undone and it's much easier to do it again and again. It's possible to cheat on one person and never on anyone else. But once you've cheated on that particular person the relationship becomes a damaged product.

If you do cheat, never be honest about it. Honesty is always good apart from this situation because is totally destroy's a partner's trust and peace of mind. Someone once told me what the wife doesn't know can't hurt her. Hmm, I wouldn't want to cheat when I'm married but I understand where the guy is coming from.

If you cheat and you want a soul mate, someone who you can share absolutely anything with. Who is your best friend, and who you can be completely honest with without guilt or shame, you can forget it. Now most people don't even have a partner like this, because most people can't get to this level of honesty with another human being. But if you cheat then at least part of you will always be alone.


missmaomao said...

cheating is really bad but yes you are right .. ppl tend to cheat at certain point. i used to hop from one relationship to another in my last 8 yrs consistenly .. i couldn't stand being alone but now i have grown up, getting stronger, finally can stay single for hmm WOW now its my 6th month staying single !!! time flies

i truely believe once a person has cheated in a relationship, no matter how much he/she wanted to fix this problem between the two person's bond ... it can never be the same .. no matter of how many times the guy will tell u he only loves u, and that was only a game and whatever other reasons are ... and he promised he will never do it again ... DAMN !! that's a lie ... it'll only happen over and over again .. never ends so i'd say once a person has cheated on u ... the relationship should be over

but sighh somehow i got this conflict in me .. like i have a lotta guy friends and we're close .. we always talk about things like that and i kinda understand from a 3rd person's pt of view of why do men cheat ... the conflict is .. like i understand but should i accept the fact that my own man cheats on me and still be ok with it?

confuse confuse confuse .. but ya in the end ... the relationship will still be broken apart

Carlton Bradshaw said...

I think it depends on the situation. If a relationship is relatively new then cheating should mean a break up immediately.

If a relationship has gone on for years and neglected then one party might cheat. In which case that should be a reminder for the couple to work on the relationship and make it stronger.

If they can't happen then it's time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think cheating on a new relationship means a breakup?

I was seeing a guy for four weeks, very intense. And amazing. Went away for a short holiday, slept with someone else, came back to this guy.

The relationship was totally different. We didnt click like we did before, and it ended quickly and dramatically after a week.
I didnt tell him about the fact I had cheated on him.

As it was such a new relationship I thought it wouldnt matter.
I thought things would be the same. But they were totally different...

What are your thoughts?

Carlton Bradshaw said...

If you really like someone the early stages of a relationship is when it is the best.

People only cheat when the other person is not important enough for them to go through the effort of being faithful.

Generally happens after a while when the romance dies down, but could happen if you weren't interested enough at the start.

Whatever caused you to cheat, because it was so early in a relationship. You subconsciously realized the guy wasn't important enough to stay faithful with.

Also it's really hard to keep focus on your guy when you have some other guy on your thoughts or have to deal with guilt.

Just kills the romance, which is key for pair bonding at the start of a relationship.

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