Fool me once…

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Why do people stay in relationships with cheaters? If someone cheated on you, then they obviously aren’t as committed as you are. I don’t care if it was a “moment of weakness” or you were drunk or some other stupid bullshit. There’s always a choice, and if you choose to cheat or put yourself in a situation where you’re likely to cheat, then that represents a conscious decision on your part. And that’s a decision I just don’t get making if you claim that you’re committed to one person. So, in light of this, how can the cheated justify or rationalize staying with the cheater? It doesn’t make much sense to me. If it happened once, it can happen again, and probably will.

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But perhaps even more baffling to me is why the cheater would want to stay in the relationship. I guess that the person who was cheated on might worry about finding someone else or have low self-esteem…but what would keep the cheater in the relationship? Obviously they’re sexually interested in other people, and obviously they’re quite capable of successfully landing the people that they’re sexually interested in. So why is the cheater limiting themselves to one person? Seems like monogamy is just setting yourself up for failure. Or at least you’re bound to break a lot of hearts along the way for no reason. If you’ve got a wandering eye or you’re interested in more than one person, there’s a pretty simple solution: don’t enter an exclusive relationship. Seems pretty simple to me. Have an open relationship, try a polyamorous relationship, or don’t have a relationship at all–just have friends with benefits. Whatever you want to call it, everything is out in the open, there are no expectations for monogamy or exclusivity, and nobody will be offended or heartbroken when another person enters the picture.

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And finally this last meme brings me to what I don’t understand the most. If you go out with someone who you know is a cheater, how can you be surprised or disappointed when they cheat on you? This is the epitome of stupid. As the meme suggests, if someone cheats with you, then that’s kind of a red flag. Like people who think their lover will leave a spouse for them. Uh, hello? If this man or woman is willing to leave a marriage once, why wouldn’t you think that they’re capable of doing it again?

At the end of the day, there’s a pretty easy way to avoid cheating if you’re already in a relationship: end the fucking relationship before you cheat. Shocking, I know. But if you’ve got the hots for someone else while you’re in a relationship, have the courtesy to at least end your relationship before pursing someone else. It’s cowardly and lazy to try to have your cake and eat it too or to hide cheating for fear of the consequences. Face the music with some dignity or just straight up end things if they’re headed down the cheating path. And for the love of God, people, stop going out with cheaters. It’s like mamma always said: once a cheater, always a cheater. What do you guys think?

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6 thoughts on “Fool me once…

  1. It’s rough because there are examples of everything. John Lennon lived with another woman for 18 months or something before going back to Yoko but maintained that Yoko was everything to him. Michael Ian Black started seeing his wife while she was married and he was dating someone else. (They’ve been married over 15 years now.) Etc. etc. There are relationships that have no business working, but somehow do, and relationships that look perfect on paper that fall apart.
    And it gets more complicated because there are people who genuinely try and mess up, and there are people who don’t care at all. The people who, like you described, just like sex or controlling/manipulating people or something (I honestly don’t know).
    As for forgiving someone, I can’t explain how other people do it. I don’t think I’d be capable of moving forward after being cheated on, but I can’t necessarily say it’s wrong to do so.

    1. I can’t forgive someone who cheats on me. I have a zero tolerance policy, and I’ve definitely had to use it before.

      I guess it’s true that sometimes the most screwed up relationships are the ones that end of up working. But even if a marriage that started with cheating has lasted 15 years that doesn’t mean that cheating hasn’t occurred and the person wasn’t caught, or that cheating absolutely won’t ever occur.

      But I do agree that people are complicated creatures who often exhibit irrational behavior. If every was rational all the time this post wouldn’t even have been necessary, so I guess I’m just barking at airplanes over here lol.

      1. I’m right there with you, I (probably) wouldn’t be able to let it go even if I wanted to try.
        It’s definitely the irrationality that is biggest problem, I think. We all want to be the exception to the statistics so we convince ourselves it’ll never happen again and that the person truly loves us and all that nonsense. Some people will be, but it’s not likely no matter how strong they believe.

  2. I agree with you Ryan. My wife and I have an open relationship and this is something we talked about at length, and this is something that every couple should talk about before making a serious commitment. Be honest with your partner, and perhaps more importantly, be honest with yourself. Personally I think sex and love is different, and that humans are not a naturally monogamous species so a lot of problems in relationships are in my opinion caused by the fact that we aren’t accepting what human nature is.

    I guess though in answering the “why stay?” question the simple answer is love. Love and sex our different, so you might feel hurt and betrayed but that doesn’t erase the love and history you have with the person. Love makes you want to believe that it was a mistake, and love makes you want to give that person a second chance. And sometimes it is a mistake. Sometimes it is a symptom of bad communication between a couple. People unfortunately really don’t communicate when a relationship isn’t going well and then end up hurting their partners feelings more, than if they just sat down and told them what’s wrong in the relationship, or even ended it before cheating on them and then ending it. The fact is, people do make mistakes and do stupid things. Should we define somebody we’ve spent years with and love by one mistake? Even if it is a big one? I don’t know, I refuse to define somebody by one action and have it define their character. Unless the guy is a total player these problems usually runs both ways and it’s not always one persons fault either. Anyway, that’s just my views. 🙂

    1. It’s definitely all about the expectations. I just think people could do a better job at preventing cheating in the first place. If someone presents themselves as monogamous or seeking monogamy, and then cheats, there’s definitely a failure somewhere. On the other hand, if people are honest about themselves and their expectations, then I say go for whatever works for you or floats your boat, you’re being responsible toward the other person in the relationship.

  3. I am as loyal as an old hound dog. I have never, if in a legitimate relationship with someone, cheated. By legitimate I mean at least having dated on several occaisions and have established a mutual desire of monogamy.

    I have to my knowledge, never been the recipient of a cheaters cheat. I have no way of knowing that for sure, but it is a possibility I hadn’t really considered until now lol. When you have those one or two night stand scenarios that for whatever reason fail to grow into something more meaningful, there is a lot you just do not know about that other person.

    I have always pretty much felt as you do in this post. That there is no acceptable excuse for someone in a supposedly commited relationship to cheat. Though I can think of a few scenarios where forgiveness may be the best course, like a couple with children. or where two people are at least willing to give it another shot. As already mentioned there are plenty cases where it does work out.

    So while I do agree with you, I also see it as a malleable circumstance that would vary from case to case and person to person.

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