Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Is it really cheating?

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine. He and I were discussing the specific details of an affair. Someone who is very close to me is having one. And before any one gets any ideas, no, it is not me.

We were trying to figure out if having an affair always has to be sexual in nature. In his opinion, an affair and/or cheating has to include sex. If there is no sex involved, to him, there was no wrong doing. I asked him about the internet and related things such as IM's, web cams and swapping pictures through E-mail. Since he doesn't have access to a computer, this was a non issue to him. I asked hypothetically, if this was to happen to him, would he then consider it as "cheating". And to my surprise, he agreed with me.

I have never made it a secret that I have been a participant of an affair. A few times I have been "the other woman" (always with the same man) and on several occasions, I was the "cheater". I look back now and wonder what in the hell was wrong with me. What exactly was I looking for or needing? I realize now a lot of it was for emotional reasons. However, I will be the first to admit, the ongoing affair with T** was a sexual thing. But I digress...

Now, I have a title for it: emotional cheating. What exactly is it? In an emotional affair, a person feels closer to the other party and may experience increasing sexual tension. Other example are what I was telling my friend about. The picture swapping, the constant e-mailing outside of "regular" friendship, long phone calls, hiding things from your partner, web cams and in general doing things that you would not want your spouse/partner doing.
Steve and I have had a similar discussion, but never really said to each other, "Ok, here is my definition of cheating". I suppose after reading this he will know.

Think about it, if you have to hide that phone number, e-mail or IM or erase it "just in case" your partner finds it, you might want to reconsider what you are doing. I just wish someone could get that through to my friend. I have tried, family and friends have tried and she does not listen or she listens and does not take our advice. And that is sad, because she has so much to lose.

Ok, I'm done. I just needed to get that out and see what others thought about it. Am I the only one who feels this way? Or am I too extreme?

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