When Is Cheating, Cheating?

So… I want to ask a question. What do you define as cheating?

When Is Cheating, Cheating?

My Work Colleague (I should probably think of a better name for her) is having a few issues with her hubby. Let me just set some background – she’s in her early twenties, he’s in his mid-to-late thirties, they’ve been married two years yesterday and they have an almost one year old child. Struggling financially, they moved back in with her parents (and it’s a bit of a mess) to save up for the downpayment on a mortgage rather than just keep renting and not getting anywhere.

She regularly signs into his Facebook account and reads his messages and checks up what he’s up to, and I don’t say anything because it’s their marriage and nobody’s perfect. Recently she found and sent me screenshots of his conversation with what appeared to be an old female school friend that he hadn’t spoken to in many years.

The conversation started innocently enough – reminiscing about old times, and it was clear that she didn’t remember him. He delved further, telling her that she used to tease him at school, all the while boasting about how much money he earns, and his super-easy job in which he does sweet FA.

Firstly, what a crock of shit. He may earn that money but he doesn’t have that much money because of debts and a serious drinking problem. It’s not a big deal to them right now but it is soon going to become one, I can see it. It’s already getting worse. Recently he got arrested when they were on a family day out (with her parents) to a concert in a local castle, and when the evening came, he got pissed and smacked some guy around the face. Justified or not – can you see what I’m saying here?

So the conversation between them went from “We used to be mates and have the occasional kiss and cuddle” to adding each other as friends on Facebook. Then he mentioned that his wife (my Work Colleague) couldn’t have any more kids because her one year old ended up giving her heart failure. then he invited himself over to hers for coffee the next day (their second wedding anniversary) and was quite persistent in ensuring it would happen. Once again, he took a trip down memory lane to say that she was the one that taught him about the ‘thrill of the chase’ and ‘trying anything to get what was wanted’. And then he sent her the selfie. Nothing sinister about it – head and shoulders, beard, etc.

My Work Colleague was turning into a crazy bitch from hell the whole time this conversation unfolded in front of her eyes. He clearly doesn’t know that she’s watching in on their Facebook messages, but boy she’s saving every single message and she’s going mad with fury.

There were a few points in the conversation I wouldn’t have been happy about. He was pretty persistent in going around there for a coffee, and almost implied that him and his wife had some sort of open relationship too. Not quite but almost. It cleverly could have been taken both ways.

Is he cheating on her? I suggested the idea that maybe he’s just looking for a quick ego boost – that he had no intentions of actually sleeping with her or anything like that, but a quick flirt would probably make his day that little bit better. The fact that it was their two year wedding anniversary was kinda bitchy, but surely that’s all it was, right?

She’s under the impression that he is cheating. She’s actually considering the idea of getting the other woman involved in a bizarre ‘honey-trap’ situation, or telling him that someone has told her that he has been inappropriately talking to someone’s friend of a friend.

When Is Cheating, Cheating?_02

Now when we were married and my Hubby slept with all those other women – that was cheating. When I was being fucked in the backseat of our car by another guy in the woods – that was cheating. Is he really cheating on her though? I mean it’s just words. It doesn’t mean anything, right?

What I did with Number 42 a week ago – that was cheating. Jock and I might not have been together but I had no intentions of letting him go or getting over him. If we ever end up getting back together, that  knowledge will eat me up. I couldn’t tell him because it would be over in a heart beat. If I didn’t tell him, I reckon the guilt would eat me alive and I’d end up getting drunk and blurting it all out.

When Jock was messaging another woman during the midst of our breakup – I don’t class that as cheating. It made me angry but that’s only because I didn’t have a right to say anything. I broke up with him. Plus it’s just words. That’s why I think my Work Colleague should chill the fuck out. Technically he hasn’t done anything wrong and even though things had been pretty stressful between them for a while, I don’t think he had any intentions of cheating on her. Do you?

Cheating is something that divides the masses, doesn’t it? A ‘break’ in the relationship now gives you a pass to go out and fuck anyone you want to, at any time, in any place. A drunken kiss – is that cheating? What about those nights when you were so obliterated that you don’t even know whether or not you slept with someone else? Is that cheating? What about when you were ‘broken up’? If either of you sleeps with someone else, is that cheating?

I can deal with flirty conversations with the opposite sex. I never made a big deal about the messages on Jock’s phone, and I do understand that talking is just talking. There’s probably a fine line, of course, but you know what I mean. Could I deal with a drunken kiss? Yes, probably. I’d huff about it and make his life hell but I wouldn’t end a relationship because of it. I think maybe that’s my line – anything more than a kiss is cheating? Ah but what about sober kisses? I feel as if we’re getting into dodgy territory here, don’t you?

So yeah… When is cheating actually cheating? Where’s that fine line?

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4 thoughts on “When Is Cheating, Cheating?

  1. Whether he’s cheating or not, he’s betrayed his wife. He has told details of her medical history, and about how it is too dangerous for her to have more children. That is something private between a woman and her husband and whoever SHE decides to share it with. It’s not for him to go blabbing in an attempt to get some sort of sympathy from this woman. There’s an easy way to see if he is cheating or not, in his own opinion. Your friend should mention this woman in passing (maybe she could mention she has noticed they are FB friends and ask how they know eachother, how they got back in touch or whatever) and see what happens. If he tells her everything then he doesn’t think he’s cheating. If he doesn’t, then he does think he’s cheating, and that is what matters.

  2. Karen’s completely right, in my opinion. Some folks label emotional cheating as something different than physical cheating and others feel both are equally as reprehensible. Either way you break it down, it leads to distrust in the other party – no bueno. It’s worth bringing up but not throwing divorce papers at him.

    Granted, I’m unmarried and childless, so one can argue all my points are moot. Best of luck to your coworker!

  3. It’s betrayal…if you are blurting things out in the hopes the conversation turns towards, comfort, casual, fling sex…you’ve already decided in your mind it’s worth risking everything to satisfy your lust, ego…whatever it is driving your libido that day. It’s cheating the moment you steer the conversation that direction really. I’d guess he bone the old acquaintenance in a heartbeat based on what you say and had every intention trying to talk her out of her panties. 😉 Up to her if she wants to divorce him, but there’s a serious issue there. She should definitely capture that shit on fb, print it out as a pdf and store it….she’ll need it in court for a good settlement on child support.

  4. Well for me, there’s emotional cheating and physical cheating. There is also clearly no trust in their relationship. When there is the need to go through someone else’s messages. It also completely defeats the purpose of being faithful. You should be faithful because you want to or because you feel it’s right. Not because someone is ‘watching’ you…If it makes sense.

    There is this sort of ‘innocent’ flirting / ego boost; however I do no think it’d be the case. Was way too personal, he also insisted in meeting this girl in person. What would have happened if they actually had met? Sometimes it is not just the result, but also the intentions.

    I know many that simply don’t cheat because they ‘never had the chance to’. Well, for me, that doesn’t mean much. It’s all about the intentions, in my opinion.

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