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12.04.2008

Cheating in Long Distance Relationships

I've discussed cheating before. But on a long road trip, the following two-part question was posed:
If you're in a long distance relationship that looks like it's going the
distance, is it really wrong to cheat as long as you do it purely for physical
reasons and not because your relationship is difficult? And is cheating only
wrong when you get caught?
Ok. First up: as I've said before, cheating is wrong and there's just no two-ways about it. If you're in a relationship with someone who believes it to be monogamous and you take advantage of that (cheating) you're wrong and a bad person. If you feel like it should be ok for the two of you to see and/or sleep with other people then that's a conversation to be had with your significant other. If they agree, great. If not, then you need to decide if that's a deal breaker (and we should all know what our deal breakers are in a relationship...). If it is, end the relationship, if not, keep your pants zipped up until you're with your boo. No. That's not simple, ideal or easy. It's complicated, but that's the nature of LDRs and why I caution anyone on being in one. Some people make it look easy, but believe me -- they have problems. So I don't care why you step outside your relationship, if the other person doesn't know and doesn't approve then you're wrong for abusing their trust.

As for cheating being wrong... yes... it's wrong before you get caught and definitely wrong when you get caught. But here's where I bring up an interesting point: I have a friend who has cheated on her boyfriend and has decided to keep it to herself. Why? Well what's the point in telling him? She didn't do it because she's upset with him, or even with their relationship. She found herself in a situation where she could have some needs met and she took that opportunity. Per my last paragraph, she was in the wrong every which way but Sunday, BUT telling him would only hurt him and what's that do?

I had another friend who wanted to reveal to her boyfriend of 1.5 yrs that she'd cheated on him with over 10 different guys. Why? Because she wanted to break up and he didn't. Also because she wanted to purge her soul. "I feel like God isn't going to bless me in my next relationship," she said. "Well, whatever punishment God has for you or karma is coming your way, is on it's way because you did the deed and 'purging your soul' won't change that," I responded. There are MANY things my ex- did behind my back that he later revealed that I so strongly wish he hadn't. It tarnished many of memories that didn't need to be tarnished and did NOTHING in the way of helping me get over what happened.

Cheating is one of those things I think should only be revealed in the most dire of situations. Should you tell your friend you slept with her boyfriend? Depends on the intention. If you're trying to hurt her and steal her man, that's messed up. If you just want to purge your soul, that's messed up... but if you feel bad, have no intentions of getting with him and want your friend to know what a low-down dude she's dealing with, well then... that's different. But RARELY is that the case. Ultimately when we tell on ourselves, it's for our own gain. People don't just decide the right thing to do is to tell the truth and do that. Even those of us who will let the cashier know she gave us $5 too much back do it because we'd feel guilty otherwise. Not because we think it's important that her register be balanced at the end of the day. We're selfish by nature. Always looking out for that *star* player.

So there's no good answer to any of this, except be careful or have a damn good case to present for why you and your significant other should explore the land of "doing our own thing" :)

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