what exactly is cheating
It's interesting how people's opinions vary on what exactly is cheating and what is acceptable.

So what exactly is cheating?  It’s interesting how opinions vary on the subject.

I was reading an article this weekend in Redbook magazine about cheating (Read the article here).  The article presented four different scenarios and then polled 50 men and women on whether they felt that each situation was cheating.  I found the article interesting because it did present four different kinds of situations that could be perceived as cheating but were quite different from many of the typical affairs scenarios that we hear about in the media.

I also found the results of the survey interesting because in most cases men only perceived cheating when something physical happened while woman believed it was cheating when there was an emotional connection as well as a physical one.

What Exactly is Cheating to You?

The first case study was about a woman who was engaged and living in a foreign country.  Her fiance asked a male associate to show her around an unfamiliar city and help her with the language.  This resulted in a weeklong tour of the city, many lunches and lots of time spent together.  There was no physical contact whatsoever – just an intense excitement to be around this gentleman.

At the end of the week she told her fiance about the way she had felt.  He was understandably hurt but was grateful for her honesty.  So was it cheating?  Twelve percent of the women and eight percent of the men said yes.  There is a gray area here, but I felt that even though they kept their boundaries in check, more time together could have led to something they would have regretted.

The second study was a woman who met a man while out with a group of work friends.  They spent the night talking, but the next day he emailed her and set up a lunch date.  She thought nothing of it because he knew she was married and figured that nothing could happen in a public place.  The interactions continued to the point that he became her best friend and confident.  Talking to him was the highlight of her day and she would often discuss issues she was having in her marriage.  She felt there was nothing wrong with having a friend like this.  She had many female friends whom she talked to and kissed on the cheek.  So what was wrong with having one that was a man?

When asked if this was cheating, ninety-two percent of the women said yes and eighty-four of the men. One man said, “The fact that a man other than her husband is holding her hand and listening to the details of her day is more adulterous than a one night stand.”

The next case study involved a Facebook situation.  A woman’s class reunion was approaching and it made her think about an old high school boyfriend and how she missed him.  So she tracked him down on Facebook.  When she saw his picture, it made her feel like she was 17 again.

She started friendly, casual conversation with him.  Their conversations lasted over a year and she found herself looking forward to checking her Facebook constantly each day.  Over time their conversations changed from casual to flirtatious.  She was thinking about meeting him at the reunion and having sex with him.  At the last minute she decided to take her husband to the reunion with her because she was not ready to be unfaithful to him.

Was she cheating?  Sixty percent of the women and just sixteen percent of the men said yes.  I was really surprised that the numbers were so low.  She had been having intimate conversations with another man for over a year without her husband’s knowledge, while spending her time thinking about him and daydreaming about being intimate with him.

The last study involved a one night drunken kiss with an old gay friend.  They had a little too much to drink and began “making out” with each other.  Was this cheating?  Eighty-eight percent of the women and ninety-six percent of the men said yes.

I think one reason why I found this article so interesting is because I interpreted each case study based on how their behavior impacted the trust of the betrayed spouse.  For me the survey percentages didn’t make much sense.  I believe that for most people who have never experienced infidelity in the past, a physical act would seem to be much more damaging than a nonphysical relationship.  For me however, getting over a drunken make-out session would be much easier than getting over intimate conversations lasting for more than a year.

Many don’t think about the amount of time and energy that most cheaters put into their secret relationships.  Most of these relationships involve many hours spent on their computers or phones in contact with another person.  Their minds are constantly focused on the other person while sharing intimate information with this person rather than the person they are married to.

A scenario similar to this popped up this weekend when we found out that our daughter’s boyfriend’s mother had become ‘friendly’ with a man half her age.  She had been meeting him for dinners, texting and talking to him on the phone.  He was even at her son’s (the boyfriend) graduation party.  Her husband was becoming suspicious about the relationship and had voiced his concerns and asked her to stop talking to the young man.

The mom felt that because this young man was also friends with her children, that everything was OK.  On the other hand, the husband was adamant that this relationship had to end. Ironically, my daughter’s boyfriend sided with his mom, while our daughter felt that his dad was correct and that the relationship needed to end.  She even showed her boyfriend the article to prove her point and talked to him about the implications of a relationship like this and how it can ruin a marriage.

So often we hear from readers that their spouse didn’t consider their actions to be cheating.  Their spouses say things such as “We’re just friends” or “It was nothing, don’t overreact” or “It’s not cheating because we didn’t have sex.”  To me, if the hurt spouse thinks it’s cheating…then it is.

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    50 replies to "What Exactly is Cheating?"

    • Gizfield

      If you have to hide it, it’s cheating.

      • Greg

        Gizfield has it dead on for me, if you are hiding it it is cheating.
        My wife has had many male friends through out our relationship and I have had many female friends, many of the ex-girlfriends, and we have know each of them. She even would complain to some of her friends about me to get a male perspective that wasn’t mine, again I knew about it and it wasn’t a problem. When it became a problem was when she hid one. That was the part that hurt, not the fact that she had a male friend but that she hid him from me.

        • Paula

          Greg and Gizfield, I think you are right, however, cunning people, such as my ex and his AP, my friend, were really open about the contact they had, I was always aware of the texting and where in the world she was, I was often a part of the conversations, she came on holidays with us, etc, hell, I even invited her most of the time!!! The hiding part was that they were also meeting for sex, that part I had no idea about.

          Linda, your daughter showed great maturity in recognising, and pointing out the inappropriateness – that even if it wasn’t cheating, it was heading in a scary direction, you must be very proud of her 🙂

    • chiffchaff

      If you don’t share your conversations with your spouse/partner, or don’t want to, then it’s cheating. If they’re just a friend that you get on well with you would want, under normal circumstances, to share that new friendship with your partner too. You would want your new friend to meet your partner because they are important to you.

      It is interesting to look at the early stages to consider when does friendship stray into cheating, but as Gizfield so succinctly says, if it’s hidden to your partner then it’s cheating. The act of hiding suggests that it’s not just friendship but you want something more, something private and special away from your partner.

      Deception is the cheating, not the physical activity. In comparison with criminal law in england, it’s equivalent to the ‘mens rea’ bit in theft. That someone intended to steal something. Cheating means an intention to deceive someone else and that someone else is your partner.

    • livingonafence

      Yeah, how’s that facebook one NOT cheating? Sexual images, emails in the middle of the night, hiding it from her husband? The fact that she woke up to what was about to happen doesn’t mean she didn’t cheat. I’m sure her husband would think she did.

    • livingonafence

      Further, the definition of cheating is simple (although some people, for obvious reasons want to change it to meet their needs):

      A willful breaking of the rules.

      We all learned what cheating is when we were 3. You know the rules but you break them because you stand to gain from ‘playing’ outside of them. Was emailing her exboyfriend and posting pictures just for him against the rules? How would she feel if her husband was doing that? I’d bet she’d be very much against it.

    • Rosemary

      I’m thinking about the woman who became so friendly with a young man and thought that everything was okay. Of course, only she truly knows what is in her heart, and perhaps her intentions really are innocent. But whether or not you define what you are doing as cheating, if your spouse is genuinely hurt and threatened by a relationship and asks you to end it, you should end it immediately. The trust and respect of the person to whom you committed yourself in marriage should be your top priority.

    • tryingtoowife

      This is an interesting article Linda. Not everyone agrees on what is cheating and its different degrees, especially if someone have not been through the pain of a betrayal, or have not been caught, but for me, as you say Linda, anything that impacts in my trust in a relationship is cheating! And trust is the base for any other feelings that hold a relationship together. When that is gone, it is hard to build it again. I just hope it to be possible for my marriage sake.

      My husband met a woman in 2007 and after that they met many times for lunch, coffee and drinks, to talk about an interest they shared. Apparently it faded away in 2008 and he only got e-mails from her from time to time until they met again in 2009 at her request, and starting few months ( 8,7,6 months, (dates are a bit obscure still) of an intense physical affair until 2010. I had never heard of this secret friend, until the DDay, after he ended the relationship with her, and she took revenge on him by trying to help him to destroy his family. For me the cheating goes as far as the time he met her in 2007 as I never heard of this secret friend,ever, and why not? To me, it shows that something was already in the air for both of them, and that is why “his friend” was kept secret. He does not agree with me and says that before, it was only friendship and it seemed innocent. I thoroughly disagree. If Innocent why keep secret then?

    • rollercoasterrider

      It’s so evident in my life and marriage that the tendency to hide is what true cheating is all about. Without transparency, we will be cheaters…and for me, it’s also important not to cheat myself by hiding things and refusing to look at all of who I am through and through, even allowing myself to be awakened to things that have been ‘under the radar’ for most of my existence. I don’t want to be a cheater, and I don’t want to be married to one. If we can’t be real at every level there will never be genuine intimacy. But it can be a scary process. “To thine own self be true.” It can also be scary to realize that we haven’t even wanted to know or be known in the deepest ways, because it means being vulnerable. I’m becoming more of a risk-taker now, meaning not that I’m getting too close to the edge of what’s acceptable or unacceptable, but I am starting to share my true self and wanting that from my H as well. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

      It is very troubling that our society, even our world as a whole, has fallen for the idea that cheating is a variable. It seems that many are unaware of how vulnerable we can be in relationship. We think we’re strong, or maybe that ‘in my case, the rules don’t apply.’ At the end of the day, I want to have as few regrets as possible because bad choices ultimately lead to that sad state of “I wish I hadn’t _____.” Even choosing to leave and eventually divorce came from a need to be consistent, to say what I mean and mean what I say, to not be driven by fear and insecurity, to not settle. It is such a battle, but as my friend Jillian says, “When you’re uncomfortable, that’s when change can occur.”

    • Recovering

      OMG this one is SOOO easy for me!! Doing or saying something to or with someone that you would not do right in front of your spouse is cheating! If you wouldn’t do it with me there, then DONT DO IT WHEN IM NOT! I think that is a pretty dang simple explanaition!

      • Jamie

        I totally agree with you Recovering.

        I have a best friend that is a man. I have NEVER kept this fact from my husband. In fact I intentionally told my H, about my friend, when my H and I started dating; because I did NOT want it to be an issue or a threat to him. I would never do or say anything to/with my friend that I wouldn’t do or say if my spouse was standing right next to me or looking over my shoulder. Sure I bitch about my relationship to my friend, but he reciprocates by bitching about his. NO crossing boundries!!! Period. Empathy, support, mutual respect…it’s called ‘friendship’.

        True reciprocal friendship is NOT texting naked photos, sex talk, meeting for lunch and kissing in the parking lot afterwards. and it’s certainly not feigning to be unattached for some ‘attention’….and I’m not talking a peck on the cheek kissing. THAT IS clearly crossing boundries!

        True friendship with either sex is based on mutual respect, boundaries, empathy and support. The aforementioned behavior is an affair…NOT “just being friends”.

    • Healing Mark

      The last sentence of Linda’s post sort of says it all. Well put!

    • Gizfield

      Cheating applies to all relationships as well, I think. Family, friends, business, etc. if you intentionally let someone believe a false hood you are cheating them. My parents adopted me as a baby, and for whatever reason, kept it a secret. The secret was revealed to me in a not so nice way by my maternal grandmother when she became senile. I was in my early 20s and this was one of the most traumatic events in my life. I was”cheated” of knowing the truth about myself for decades so I know firsthand the destruction secrets cause. To me, lies and secrets are best friends, and I despise both. and I’m not talking about opinions, or little white lies. I mean life altering destructive secrets.

      • Battleborn

        Gizfield,

        I was also adopted by my now deceased father. I did not know until I was about 18-19. For me the news did not cause much feeling either way. As I told my mother, Daddy adopted us (my little sister and me) when I was 2. I do not know anything about the past and all I remember are the times that my Dad took care of me. Yes, that includes the bad times and the good. He was my dad. Momma gave me the opportunity to ask any questions about my biological father… all I asked was why he left us. “he was a very bad man” is the only way my mom could put it… I could see in her eyes that this was the truth. I did not need to ask any more, nor will I. I think it hurt her as much or more than it could ever hurt me.

        Me, I could care or less about finding anything about him. He is a past that I do not need to know about. I have my Dad in my heart, that’s all I need.

        My little sister, she went ballistic. Held it against my parents and to this day I don’t think she has ever forgiven my Dad. Why blame him is weird since it was he who adopted us and cared for us. I would have thought it be my mother she would blame. Anyway, even through all her hate and discontent for my father, he still maintained his love for her to his dying day.

        I have two younger siblings and they are my dad and mom’s kids. When they begin to squabble about who gets what because they are the biological kids, I just gently kick them in the teeth while smiling reminding them that our Dad “picked me.” They, of course weren’t “picked”. So when I am down, I just remember I was chosen by my Dad, they weren’t . :}

        One hilarious thing that finally made sense after I found out… everyone in my family is 5’9″ – 6’2″. I am a mere 5’3″. Funny how that turned out, but you know what? That makes me even more special.

        I am sorry your family secret caused you so much pain and the additional affair just makes it that much worse. I wish you good will and hope someday your pain will turn around and goodness will come of it.

    • WriterWife

      Linda, I really appreciate the point you made about the time involved in secret relationships — time spent emailing, facebooking, etc. To me that time is evidence of putting emotional energy into a romantic relationship *not* with your spouse. And as I think many here will attest, once the CS starts diverting that emotional energy from their spouse, it creates a distance that only hastens the unravelling of the marriage.

      For me, cheating is when my husband’s heart beats harder for another woman; when he gets that rush of adrenaline fueled excitement for someone other than me; when he wishes it were another woman on his arm out at dinner; when he spends time with her rather than coming home; when he finds disappointment that her name isn’t in his inbox; when he closes his eyes and imagines her hand on his chest rather than mine. I’m okay with fantasies, with thinking someone else attractive… but when your emotional core finds itself tuned to someone other than your spouse, that’s cheating.

    • tsd

      Cheating is doing or saying something that you would feel very uncomfortable with your spouse standing there watching or listening in…. Cheating is crossing the line, and throwing vows out the window…cheating is disrespecting spouse no matter what was missing, what went wrong or how bad things got….cheating is being über embarassed if spouse told your parents how actions have affected wounded spouse….cheating is seeing how kids would react if they knew stepping out could shatter a family and a person…cheating is the worst emotion anyone can feel and harder to recover from…cheating with words hurts just as much as cheating with the body….cheating just sucks….I wouldn’t want anyone to feel the pain I have felt, the lost time I have missed, the weight that slids off, the changes I’ve made that don’t affect change in marriage, or the possibility of an unknown future that I never Envisioned as bad or questionable…

      • Jamie

        I totally agree with TSD.

      • WriterWife

        Well said! When my husband said he didn’t think what he’d done was all that wrong, I said, “Then I guess you won’t mind if I talk to your parents or mine about it?” That got his attention.

    • Broken2

      TSD said it all for me!

    • Gizfield

      Paula, I agree, that is a difficult situation to know whats going on. my husband had never had any contact with anyone else that I knew about that was inappropriate, and neither have I so I can’t relate. But I never checked on him so I dont know. My first husband was extremely jealous and I got so tired of it that I gave my current husband free reign and trusted him completely. My bad.my first actually accused me of having an affair with one of my friends cause we were going to a cat show, lol. Her husband got mad and was going to beat him up. If I had to do it all again I would just say no calls, emails, texts, meetings alone for either of us with members of the opposite sex from the get go.most inappropriate behavior goes on under the We’re Just FRIENDS banner. I think women today want to show they are not jealous, posessive , etc. and next thing you know here you are on the cheaters website. Lol. Not funny, but ironic. I really thought I was being cool, not being a raving bitch monitoring his every move. Oh well.

    • Rachel

      My husband keeps saying that it wasn’t cheating because there was no sex. It was just catching up. Talking about the old days.
      Ya, well then how about when you said you were in love with her not me. And you are leaving your families to be together. Is that still cheating??
      I think that cheaters should get a MRI to see if they even have a brain or perhaps, a heart.

    • Jamie

      Rachel, they ALL say that..to minimize their own guilt because they know their actions were questionable at best and flat out WRONG at worst. Don’t take the bait!
      I’ve kept up with many of your posts and it really seems that your H is totally trying to pull a fast one on you, blame you and invalidate your hurt feelings that came from his actions. He’s a hard case, girl…seriously.

      I hope things are getting better for you, personally. I sure empathize with you because what kind of a man your dealing with regarding your marriage. My H was a hard case too. He said the same crap about ‘not cheating because of no sex’…

      (first of all…REALLY??? How the HELL do I know what was and wasn’t involved?? Since he lied and lied to my face constantly? It doesn’t matter if physical contact happened..it’s STILL an AFFAIR),

      …. but if the tables were turned exactly, as me being the CS, he’d call it cheating…yell it from the mountain tops. I EFFing hate double standards.

      It’s a tactic of many many men who are CSs, to wiggle out of their own guilt and shame. And don’t you buy that donkey young lady!!!

      • Rachel

        That’s exactly it, Jamie.He is 100% trying to blame me for his actions. Yes he is seriously a hard nut case.
        He won’t work on us because he says it’s not about “her” it’s about me and the fact that I can’t get over it. I said that I need your help. He said “I’m not like that”.
        He wants to divorce because I ask too many questions. We can’t discuss any of this . This is when he says the ridiculous statements that kill me and then he’ll take them back in a day or two.
        Our oldest son (20) had a long talk with me the other night about his father and how he’s so “out there”. He doesn’t think he”s seeing “her” again, but we do think he’s seeing someone else. Has shut me out totally, doesn’t come home until late and doesn’t even let the kids know where he is.
        Both of our sons say that they won’t blame me if I decide to file. I haven’t done anything wrong and why should I be waiting for him to make the next move.
        Thank you,Jamie.

    • Gizfield

      I’ve noticed that the”affair stories” seem to follow a few scenarios but the really interesting ones on here are the”marriage Stories”. I think it is easier got me to understand some of this due to peoples extenuating circumstances. there st no excuses for adultery but if someone has been a good spouse or parent for a long time, I usually think they can be again. Some people of course, are no damn good to start with. Leopards don’t change their spots, as they say.

    • Better

      Cheating to me is:

      Having a lock on your phone and refusing to give your spouse the code…talking to your “friend” for hours a week about your hopes, dreams, and complaining about your spouse…telling your “friend” that you love them…writing romantic letters to your “friend”…giving your “friend” jewlery or other gifts…carving into a tree how much you love your “friend”…constantly asking your “friend” to send you pictures of themselves…getting on a plane and flying 2000 miles to “see what it was” with this “friend”…

      Just like everyone has said on here…when your spouse hides there “friend” from you and you have no idea that this other person is so entwined in your life, that is Cheating!

      There are no words that my H could say to me to make me believe that his actions were not an affair! I wish there were an easier way to get over all of the painful memories and reality of what has happened to my marriage.

      • Cookiemomster

        Dear Better, That last paragraph of your post:
        “There are no words that my H could say to me to make me believe that his actions were not an affair! I wish there were an easier way to get over all of the painful memories and reality of what has happened to my marriage.’
        describes exactly the feelings I struggle with every day even at 120 days post D-Day. I feel so very, very sorry for you and for myself. I wish there were an easier way also. It seems the more days pass the more the “reality” of the situation sets in and the pain only gets worse instead of better. I wish us both strength in the days ahead.

    • Cookiemomster

      I can barely stomach this conversation. As several of us have already confirmed, if you have to hide ANYTHING from ANYONE it’s NOT JUST FRIENDS!!! My husband wants to sweep this whole thing under the rug, using the excuse they were JUST FRIENDS and that everything was OK because I found out and put and end to things before any physical contact occurred. This puts me in a horrible position with regard to any progress in my healing as it means he refuses to talk about it at all. Well the only one I CAN talk about my intimate marriage issues with his him, unlike the way he shared all our intimate issues with her!! I do not have access to professional counseling and cannot talk to the person I once regarded as my very best friend. Shout it from the mountaintops….. hiding a relationship with a person of the opposite sex is CHEATING, CHEATING, CHEATING and it DESTROYS marriages!!!!

    • Better

      Cookiemomster,
      I’m sorry for you to…I’m also sorry that you have no one to talk to! I had 2 friends that I confided in early on, but they would just tell me I should leave my H. They were not supportive of my decision to stay and work on my marriage. So, I stopped confiding in them and have been on my own since. I feel very alone in this whole mess that my H created. He does not want to talk about it either. I did mention something in a casual sort of way last week and he said he could go the rest of his life never hearing her name again…I said “why”…his answer “everytime its brought up I feel more guilty for even talking to her at all”
      Thats the first time I’ve heard him use the word guilt! So I guess thats something!
      Your Husband, my Husband, everyone on heres Husband or Wife…brought this other person into the marriage. They gave away there rights to say what or whom they feel comfortable talking about. I know my H hates it when I bring it up on occasion..but I dont really care…I hate that he did this to begin with!!
      I read a great saying on here yesterday and it really hit home..I’m going to use it in a future conversation with my H to get him to see my reality…It was “You stabbed me in the back and now your pissed because I’m bleeding on the rug” (Love It)

      • CookieMomster

        Better, I’ll have to remember that one about bleeding on the rug. That’s a good one. I too, received a “tiny” indication that my husband may be starting to feel guilt. While we still do not ever talk about the EA, a crisis this week (my finding, 115 days post D-Day where he had hidden gifts he had received from her) for the first time he did not deny having done anything wrong and while he still does not admit guilt or has never apologized, this is actually huge for him. That and the fact that he was able to throw the items away… something that only a few months ago he would have told me was not even my right to ask him to do because they were “only friends”. Hopefully we will be able to talk about it some day though, because when something like this happens it’s like starting all over again. I liken finding out any new information to finding a new piece to a puzzle that requires you to re-examine all the previous pieces you’ve collected to find out where the new piece fits in. That means reliving the whole thing all over again in my mind. Not having known that the exchange of gifts was also part of their relationship I needed to consider the hows, whens and wherefores of this new information and it has made for a pretty horrible week so far.

      • Paula

        Better and CookiedMomster, I am so sorry for your feelings of being so alone, and I understand. My whole town soon knew what my love and his AP were doing. I talked to my best mate quite a lot in the beginning, but, yes, other people are not supportive, because they have no idea how hard it is to commit to staying and working on things, and that there are many times that although you want to stay and keep working, you still have many moments that are very, very hard, and the support of your family and/or friends would be greatly appreciated. My friends wanted me to leave when I was finding it hard, also. So, eventually I did. Then, they think you should be “all better” and even if you wanted to confide in them, they seem to think there’s something wrong with YOU because you are not okay yet, so you don’t. It is the loneliest I have ever felt in my life, and I used to be a person who was comfortable with my own company, I didn’t need constant social contact (although I certainly appreciated time with friends when it occured.) That is where the real value of this website, and the four lovely women I have met through here has, quite literally, been a life saver for me. CookieMomster, it sounds like your H is finally starting to realise that even if he didn’t think of the contact as being threatening, YOU HAVE, and therefore, despite his denials, he was doing something VERY damaging to your marriage, and to your self-esteem. Hopefully he may be able to actively start participating in your joint recovery if he is opening up to this possibility.

    • nw

      Six months on my very confused husband still denies that he is doing anything wrong. He always replies, often in agony, ‘but all we ever do is talk’…how can I get him to understand that he is cheating on me still, even though contact is much reduced?

      He even can’t see that the PA he had years back wad cheating because it was just recreational sex and had nothing to do with me. When he discovered he’d accidentally fallen in love with her this wasn’t cheating either because it wasn’t on purpose. Isthere any hope for this man? I love him and have six children to think of, but I feel like packing it in.

    • Broken2

      NW…I mean no disrespect but your husband is not confused at all about his behavior…he continues to do it because you continue to allow it. A man that thinks a PA/EA isnt an affair because it wasn’t on purpose is just using this as an excuse. You put up with his PA years ago and you are putting up with an EA now and he will continue to deny it and cintinue to do it again and again until you put a stop to it. I understand you have six kids and that is a really rough spot to be in but you have to decide how much of his BS can you continue to put up with. Make no mistake HE IS NOT CONFUSED. He is CHEATING. Cheaters are arrogant and selfish and you deserve better. Theres an old sa ig if it looks like a duck…walks like a duck…its a duck. Its cheating.

    • nw

      Thanks. He told me about the old PA only when I discovered the EA in january so I didn’t put up with it then. His confusion is based on whether he can bear to give up his friend for me. I know it’s cheating, I wonder if I can get it into his head that it is without me having to pack my bags and those of the children to go who knows where? I don’t believe in brinkmanship. I can’t ask him to leave until I know that I’m prepared to leave myself if he refuses. I am getting very close to that point now…I wish I had trusted my gut and stuck with the her or me ultimatum I issued nearly six months ago. Thanks for the straight talking though, it’s what I need.

      • Broken2

        NW there is “nothing to get through his head” He knows he is cheating. They all do. Its a great big excuse. If you draw a line in the sand with a cheater you had better be willing to stick with it because now he thinks you wont. You and your children deserve better. Either him without the excuses…changing and being a man or you alone.

      • Anita

        NW,
        Take your time to decide what you want to do, only you
        can decide what is best for you.
        When you issue a ultimatum, you have to be prepared to
        follow through, however if your not ready to issue a ultimatum and your not mentally prepared to give one it
        is better to slow down and give yourself time.
        There is no need to rush into a divorce until you have made
        sure that everything that can be done is done. This will
        give you a peace of mind later should you divorce. Its
        a little late to do those things after the divorce is final.
        Once you know that your ready to proceed ahead in a
        life without him, then your ready to issue that ultimatum.
        My heart goes out to you, your in a tough spot.

        • Anita

          NW,
          As hard as this is do not let his affair get to you, starting
          thinking in terms of what is best for you and your children.
          When a divorce happens your giving yourself a new life,
          however in that new life without your husband, you want to
          be prepared and set up in away that gives you and your children the best conditions possible. Believe me when
          I say that this other woman no longer is the problem, instead it is going to be whats best for you and your children.
          Divorce gives your husband the freedom to the live the life
          of his own choosing. It also give you a new life of your
          own choosing.
          When my exhusband and I got our civil divorce he was free
          to live however he chose, and I stayed out of it. He’s
          remarried now to another woman he met later. Him and
          I are civil with each other and get along fine. I also have my
          own life and he in return stays of my business also.
          We both love our children and grandchildren so we give
          them the best of us even though we are no longer together.
          NW, I wish you the best, take your time in making a life
          altering choices, you will be glad you did. Your spouse
          may decide to work with you on your marraige and you
          both could be happy again after rebuilding.

          • Anita

            NW,
            My ultiment best advise to give to you is for you to pray, and
            seek Godly counsel from someone who lives a Godly life.
            Look at their lifestyle and see if it matches. Then that person/persons can be very helpful in helping you in this
            time of crisis. God has a plan for your life and the life
            of your children. Do not let your husbands affair stand
            in your way of making Godly choices for all of you.
            When my exhusband and I were in the midst of our
            civil divorce, I prayed and sought Godly counsel myself,
            it helped me in healing and making choices that I wouldn’t
            later regret.
            We each have a different life and what might have been
            the right choice for me, maybe a wrong choice for you.
            That’s why its important to pray in this time of crisis.

    • Gizfield

      I was married to an alcoholic for a very long time and guess what, no matter how bad it gets you will never get them to admit they are an alcoholic. I read a lot of books, and worried myself sick, and couldn’t REALLY convince myself that he was an alcoholic because it was just really too horrible to believe. On his autopsy report a cause of death was “alcoholic” something or another. I remember thinking, how do they no about that? Oh well. My point is whether they admit it or label it, the truth is still the truth. The labels “affair, adultery, cheater, mistress” are just too hard for people to apply to their own behavior. My standard now is that all relationships are either “appropriate” or “inappropriate”. If it involves anything that has to be hidden it is inappropriate. Ugh, I despise the term”affair” anyway and never use it.

    • Broken2

      Anita with all do respect just because people appear to be “godly” they may not be the best people to get advise from. In fact its my experience that they can be very hypocritical.

      • Anita

        Broken2,
        I can’t speak for those who you found to be hypocritical,
        I can only speak from my own experience, in the advice
        I recieved from the people I know. I have known these
        people for years and they have been there for me in the
        good times and in the bad. They are my true family and friends who I have trusted for years.

    • Gizfield

      I just had a thought and was wondering what everyone thought, especially Cheaters. First I noticed almost all Affair Partners are either someone from the past (ex boyfriend/girlfriend) or somebody that is really easily available, like a co worker or family friend. Usually they have been around for years, or they have been “forgotten” on the past, where they belong. And facebook may make it easier but most people could have been found. The cheating spouse decides he/she is unhappy, and suddenly theY find the Other Person who coincidentally is just IRRESISTIBLE! my theory is that the cheating spouse has decided they WILL be in love with someone else, and begin their search for the person. I believe the so called “love” has already begun and they are just waiting to find someone to”transfer” those feelings to. It could probably be any number of people, but they pick the easiest one.

      • Greg

        I agree with you on this Gizfield. My wife and I actually talked about this a while back and if it hadn’t been that AP it probably would have been another, he was just available and showed the affection she wanted right then.

      • chiffchaff

        I agree with point too, my H has said that he was looking for someone to have an affair with when he met the OW and she was keen. He’d already decided to do what he did long before he met her, which makes her somewhat irrelevant.

    • Gizfield

      Oh, I dont actually think all of this is a conscious process by the cheater, either. They feel unhappy, unappreciated, or whatever their particular issue is. They start talking to someone in an inappropriate way, letting the other person know Exactly What to do to relieve their Pain. When you are dating or in real life you dont get that info, you have to try to attract someone on your own merits.lol, much more difficult.

    • Gizfield

      Thanks so much for your response, Greg! I kept reading all these comments and very few of them were like “I just saw this new person and was in love,” it was the exes and people already there coming up repeatedly. I guess they’ve never heard they’ re exes for a reason. They have observed their behavior and pretty much know how they will respond to advances. Kind of makes it a lot less “romantic” doesn’t it? I mean, the chick my husband ran around with was someone he knew before me, for years. They were single, they could have ben together but weren’t. They had mutual friends, could have found each other ANY time, so what gives? I asked him if they were “friends” for all those years between them knowing each other and him meeting me . He said he didnt know. Really?? that tells me no, they weren’t, she re entered his brain when I failed to live up to his expectations. She was there, supposedly “not interested” in him, but always up for emails, texts, calls, compliments, etc. you know the drill.

      • Hurt One

        I’m like alot of you, when something is hidden and can’t be done out in the open, then it’s cheating. My husband got into two relationships with two girls at once while we were still married. Of course, it started out that they were just friends. They would tell each other they missed the other. They never met in person, they just talked online and on the phone. He worked with one of them and would get to see her at work but with alot of people around plus I worked there just different hours. He would wear his ring all the time and would never leave. I asked him why didn’t he leave, his answer was he really didn’t want too. We would always have sex and cuddle. One day, I came home and started packing his stuff and told him he had to get out. He had a big change of heart then. I had already signed divorce papers also. He decided that he didn’t want them. This has been six months now. It’s been the longest, hardest, saddest six months ever. I have all his passwords and everything. He swears that he don’t talk to the one at work unless it is work related and as quick as possible. The other girl ended their friendship a long time ago after I talked to her. She said he had too much drama. I blamed myself for this for a long time but I don’t anymore. He tells me all the time that he just enjoyed the conversation. I do feel that if it was just for conversation, that that was my fault because I would not just let him talk about anything. I do know he changed and he’s back in church which he had stopped going. I don’t really know if this is still going on, all I do is pray to God. I tell my husband that him and the other girls will be the ones having to stand in front of God explaining their actions. I have forgiven him which sometimes I get so upset because I let him hurt me, but I move on. I do try to get over this and if I start thinking about it, I just get quite and in my own little world. He can tell when it happens and he just hugs me…..I do know that God hits you in your face to get you to wake up. I feel this one was mine. I was never saved or even really prayed to God before this. But in my darkest hours, I seeked help from God and he saw me through. I became saved and I hand over all my issues to him. I’m so excited about the new person I have became—-I’m a much better person now. As for my marriage, I put it in God’s hands and we’re still going.

        • Anita

          Hurt One,
          Congratulations on your being Saved, I am very happy for
          you. Sometimes it does take our darkest hours for us to
          see the light, you made the most important choice that you
          will ever make, good for you.
          Your right by putting this into God’s hands. God gives each one of us free will, and I hope your husband will exercise his free will more wisely in the future. By you forgiving him
          your doing what God is asking you to do. I am sorry that
          you are dealing with pain of infidelity. However I am happy
          that your Saved, again Congratulations!

    • Hurt One

      Thanks Anita.

    • E

      So, is it cheating if he dosen’t hide the flirty messages, but he still dosen’t ever mention that the girl exists?? My husband was having this ‘friendship’ with a girl 10 yrs younger (ouch), they worked together for a brief time. It was a contract position where they were together out of town, for 17 days at a time. He swears that nothing physical ever happened and I do believe that. But the messaging continued on for more than a year. I demanded that it stop after I discovered the messages 6 mos into it…then 6 mos later i discovered that it had never stopped. and finally he admitted that he was attracted to her and that he enjoyed the flirting. I think this is cheating. He dosent.

    • Creston

      my H reconnected with High School friend – we all went to same HS and I despised her then and knew her game! EA went on for 2 years with first DD and then another 6 months later. amazing how all the stories are so similar. Me nor H had ever heard term EA but I didn’t need to know term to know relationship was wrong! first DD I read text I thought was from someone else about our son – and her name in phone as a male, but same initials (common practice I found out). everything I know I found out on my own. counseling, discussions, tears, promises etc. all good until 6 months I had to go out of town on business. H “runs into” EA. long story short, drinks, dinner, drinks, and H tells me he was out of town, but I know logins and passwords and discovered he was in town and deducted what went on – he thinks a friend spotted them.

      it’s been almost 3 yrs and I am a pro at checking, confirming the truth. we have been married 30 years. OW has been married twice for total of less than 5 yrs and has dated almost every man we know – very well traveled! he choose someone he knew I despised and I think she initiated contact but he is not innocent. I love this man but am so sad that the once innocent trust is gone. I hate that I have had to stoop at such underhanded ways of protecting myself and family, but its the only way I can stay. and yes, we’ve been through therapy, most recently me by myself.

      btw saw her a few months ago and talked cordially/civil with one another but sent her FB message and told her to google EA and stay away from H. not sure what they thought they were doing but they were WRONG!!

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