Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Cheating Curve

I'm a little fascinated with the idea of cheating. 
so is he...
I suppose this fascination began over a few beers with my girlfriends at Studio Square Beer Garden in Queens. My mentality, as the single one at the table, was "good luck to the dude who cheats on me." The rest of them weren't so quick to pull the trigger. The thought was that cheating in a serious, committed relationship, should warrant a more thorough evaluation of a relationship. In my mind, the issue was clear and cheating was a deal breaker. Both Margaret and Larissa spoke calmly, highlighting that there's simply more to consider. So, I took to the interwebs to try and better understand why men cheat (yes, they cheat more), and why women stay.

I was immediately struck by an old interview with Sandi Jackson (wife of Jesse Jackson Jr). In 2008 news outlets exploded with the news of her husband's infidelity. She notes that when the Clinton scandal reached headlines, her initial thought was "Hillary should leave Bill." When faced with the situation in her own reality, Jackson notes:
"When the 'beast' lands at your door, it can be a very, very different experience. No one really knows what they are going to do until they are in that situation. When it happens to you it's amazing how what you once thought was black and white becomes variations of a color called gray."{source}
I was intrigued with the idea that strict thinking could switch to a more open-minded stance. I took to Twitter, asking for more perspectives (in 140 characters or less) from the female mindset. Instead, I was inundated with emails and tweet-stories from my favorites. The prompt? "@maiah: Is cheating within your dating/marriage deal breakers? Would you stay & try to fix?" Below are excerpts from the replies:

Allie: As a firm believer in the sanctity of marriage and not using the "quick fix" of divorce that I feel many people tend to do... I don't think infidelity would be the catalyst that forces me to leave the marriage. I think I would work relentlessly to fix my relationship whether I was seriously dating or already married. Vows shouldnt be taken lightly as you pledge them before God and all the people that you love. In the same vain, with the seriousness of these vows your taking you shouldn't be cheating, but I digress.

Brittany: My boss (a man) just told me, "well, wouldn't you think it's your fault why your husband is cheating?" (mj commentary: pause.) "Take Arnold for example. They said he was having a sex-less marriage. So, why wouldn't he cheat?" Girl! I can't! I met a guy, fell soo hard for this dude to find out he was married with two kids! I asked him, "how could you be married and telling your wife the same shit [you tell me]? This fool goes on to say that he's with her for their kids. Man, listen: if you're unhappy it's better to go your separate ways before it gets to the point where you want to cheat.

Shay: It's a deal breaker. I'm not a believer in appreciating what I have when it's gone. My worth, sanity & love means too much for that BS. Considering my last relationship: he cheated & blatantly told me that he just "felt like doing it but regretted when he saw me hurt..." I was young, insecure, and wanted this older man to love me like I did him. So I stayed. Biggest mistake ever. Wasn't paranoid. Didn't check his stuff. Nothing. And that was the problem. I checked out. I wasn't me. So, after coming out or my zombie phase, being a little more assured in myself and never being the person who didn't learn from mistakes I vowed to let go. I refuse to not see gain in ANYthing I invest in. Relationships included.

I was awestruck by these awesome women I call my friends. So many important key points are listed above but the top three resonate with me most. My initial black and white tunnel vision has dissipated somewhat. And regardless of whether or not I'm in a happy or troubled marriage in the future, I'll keep the following life lessons (courtesy of my girls) in mind:

  1. The importance of vows and hard work.
  2. Satisfaction (sex) matters.
  3. Don't lose yourself.

Ladies, please let me know your thoughts on the subject!
And men, I want to hear from you too. Too harsh?


  1. I love this post and not just because we've spoken about this before. My mentality: When it comes to marriage the world is a plethora of gray shades. Where cheating may not be the end all be all if both partners work on what went wrong in the first place and work on being together. If it's a boyfriend: well I may just leave him. why? there were no vows, trust was broken, health put at risk, and a boyfriend can be replaced. A husband? well that just seems so much more permanent.

  2. Hi...Im a guy,
    I find your post very interesting. I was under the assumption that most women would leave immediately upon receiving notification of infidelity. But as shown above, everyone has a different outlook. I think your life lessons are great...with an emphasis on #3 (Dont lose yourself). Lasting effects can stem from the sacrifice of #3 and theres a good chance that it can linger into your future relationship(s)...I say this because Ive been "got" in the past. Afterwards I found that on the outside I was a gentleman, the type to hold open a door for a woman etc. But inside, I developed a barrier (A force field as I called it....cuz force fields are waay cooler). The most genuine of women couldn’t crack the shell leading to my trust. I wouldn’t allow myself to see any longterm progression with any of my intimate encounters....even if the counterpart desired a deeper connection. Anyhow things have changed now...ive grown. Looking back on all the women from my past I def have the deepest connection with my gf right now. We practice your key points (The one I like most is #2....yeaaa buddy). In Conclusion, really dope post! mentioned Queens, my gf loves Queens, #cherry


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