4. Sometimes People Cheat Because They’ve Been Cheated On
I don’t cheat anymore. My freshman year in college, I was still with my high school girlfriend. I avoided way too many opportunities for casual sex and new romances my freshman year out of faithfulness for there to have been any chance of dealing with walking into her apartment finding her curled up with another dude in a healthy way. It flipped a switch. It was like I went narcissist or psychopath or some shit overnight. It was like my ability to love or respect women just disappeared. So I cheated on literally every girlfriend I had from then on.
And I wasn’t sneaky about it. I didn’t care if I got caught. I’d give the shittiest, poorly-thought out excuses for where I was/what I was doing and just not care to explain it any further. And the number of girls that gave me the benefit of the doubt on those shitty, god-awful excuses was astounding. And even when they didn’t, and I would actually get busted, who gave a shit? Not me. I had already gotten what I wanted. In retrospect, there were likely elements of gaslighting and emotional abuse involved. It was a 5-year-long boner-fuelled power trip. It was a dark time.
The woman I ended up marrying was the catalyst for change, though I think I started calming down some by that point anyway. Didn’t cheat on her, we got married, still didn’t cheat on her. She cheated on me. 3 different people, some more than once, that I know of. I suspect dozens more.
I think I kinda deserved it, though. I had spent enough time being an insufferable bastard that I had it coming. When it’s all said and done, though, I really don’t know why aside from it having been a power trip. Only thing I know for sure is that I’m not going back to it.
5. Cheating Has Kept My Marriage Alive
Please read all the way to the bottom before you judge.
My wife and I are best friends – we latched onto each other in our early 20s and know we will always be life companions. It’s such a great fit, so much understanding, mutual humor, pleasure in each others’ company. We love making a home together, having friends, sharing our days and meals. We’ve been together 30 years and raised a couple of happy, well-balanced children.
Ideal, right? Well, yes and no. It’s been an “everything but sex” arrangement pretty much from the start. Not by plan. That part never came together somehow. The bedroom hasn’t always been dead — we did manage two pregnancies after all — but almost always. Months have sometimes gone between couplings. And there isn’t even all that much frustration, at least these days (more on this below). But not much interest, not much specific chemistry. It would be great if we had memories of a brief sexually frantic phase like many couples have, but nope.
We were both virgins at the time of our marriage, I did experience a crisis about sex a few years into the marriage, feeling like I had missed something essential in my life. She felt sorry but powerless to help; and then I met a childhood friend who I hadn’t seen for many years, learned that she’d always had a crush on me, and decided to act on it. It wasn’t a moment of weakness, but a deliberate decision that I informed my wife of in advance. Didn’t ask, just said I need to do this, went away for a weekend with this other woman, then went home, wondering, have I destroyed everything. Instead she welcomed me in happy tears and wanted to know if I felt better. And I did. Not only that, but we had a period after that where the bedroom was positively alive. Didn’t last a long time, but damn it was nice.
Since then we’ve both pretty much put it together that the only thing that sparks her sexual interest is the perception of competition. She can’t be sexually attracted to me except when she can believe that someone else is too. While I haven’t made a pattern of explicitly seeking out actual adultery, “emotional cheating” turns out to be beneficial to the marriage, provided she knows about it, or at least is encouraged to suspect it. Which I guess makes it not cheating at all, although most people would probably see it that way. She wants to know when I am in flirtations with at the workplace. She occasionally asks I would like to go to bed with, among my friends and hers. She wants to know if I had any close calls, near seductions, at work conferences and such. All of this peps up our sex life, to some extent — no, we haven’t turned into a pair of legendary lovers this way, but it kinda gets us both by. And I’m getting old enough now that my sex drive is starting to wane, and things are more equitable between us that way than they used to be.
Now before you say, I need help, or she does because of her presumed self-esteem issues or whatever, I’ll assert this: in the big picture, she is one of the most secure people I know, and we’ve come to consider ourselves one of the happier couples among our acquaintance. I don’t think there is anything to fix here. But it’s not like we can talk freely about our relationship with anybody. And like probably almost everybody else here, I’m posting with a throwaway account.