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Alexrobinmc

I don't understand cheating

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I get that cheating is bad and wrong but i literally can't comprehend why, people say it's a breach of trust but aaaaah i don't see why it's so bad to be with two people, it's so weird not being able to understand why people get so destroyed over it:// Relationships seem more trouble than they're worth why would you want to be tied down to someone?

Does anyone relate?

Or can explain why being cheated on feels so bad?

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It's not bad to be with two people. But that's not at all what cheating is. Cheating is not the same as an open relationship or polyamory, which are consensual and agreed upon relationships. Cheating is nonconsensual. Cheating is an outright lie to someone that crosses a stated/agreed upon boundary of conduct with each other. It's bad to lie and gaslight and cross boundaries (and often it exposes people to unsafe sexual practice that one or more parties is unaware of and therefore unprepared for) - all of which can seriously impact someone's mental and emotional health to be manipulated and treated like that.

 

I get how you feel because the one time I dated, I wanted nothing more than for my now-ex to have some of his needs met by other people more willing and with more energy to meet them. He had blanket permission to do whatever with whoever else from me (which upset and offended him very much), so there was not really a way to cheat on me.

 

But not everyone feels the same way, and that's the difference.

 

Think of a boundary that's important to you. (Maybe you have a boundary about being touched in a certain way or about a policy of honesty with friends or a certain level of contact with a family member or maybe even a boundary about interactions with your boss/another person in authority over you.) Think of someone you care about (or otherwise a relevant person in that scenario) in some capacity that explicitly knows you have that boundary and then specifically ignores and crosses that boundary and then outright lies about it, perhaps even gaslighting you to get you to believe them. Or even imagine that they secretly crossed that boundary and then later admitted to doing it, either by your confrontation or completely out of the blue because they felt bad about it. That might help you understand more how it feels when people get cheated on.

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There *isn't* anything wrong with being with two people. The problem is when that wasn't discussed and one person is going behind another's back. I think maybe you're mixing up cheating with polyamory, and those aren't the same at all. Cheating within a monogamous (non polyamorous) relationship is where two people have agreed to be together, and one of them sees another person without the first's knowledge or agreement. Polyamory is when multiple people all agree to be with each other, or that their partner can see other people (it can be many other things too but the agreement is what's important.)

 

Romantic relationships in our society are in most places monogamous by default. This is a norm we need to challenge, and the fact that romantic and platonic relationships operate on different rules is also something we need to challenge, so I see why you as someone on the arospec may feel confused about the exclusivity of romantic relationships when people are free to have as many friends as they like, but like it or not that's the norm. People assume their relationships will be exclusive, so conversations need to be had if that's not going to be the case.

 

Moreover 'cheating' doesn't just mean being with multiple people, and it can happen in polyamorous relationships too. If a triad lays out the 'rules' that none of them will have any more partners and one of the three does, that's still cheating. If a couple have an open relationship on the condition that safe sex is practiced whatever, and one partner has unprotected sex with a new person, that's cheating. Really try to think of it as breaking the rules.

 

So, tl;dr: 'cheating' isn't not being 'tied down', it's violating the boundaries another person/people in your relationship have set out. It's wrong because you've done something that you know your partner(s) didn't want you to do and will be upset by. I hope that makes sense.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

It's not bad to be with two people. But that's not at all what cheating is. Cheating is not the same as an open relationship or polyamory, which are consensual and agreed upon relationships. Cheating is nonconsensual. Cheating is an outright lie to someone that crosses a stated/agreed upon boundary of conduct with each other. It's bad to lie and gaslight and cross boundaries (and often it exposes people to unsafe sexual practice that one or more parties is unaware of and therefore unprepared for) - all of which can seriously impact someone's mental and emotional health to be manipulated and treated like that.

 

I get how you feel because the one time I dated, I wanted nothing more than for my now-ex to have some of his needs met by other people more willing and with more energy to meet them. He had blanket permission to do whatever with whoever else from me (which upset and offended him very much), so there was not really a way to cheat on me.

 

But not everyone feels the same way, and that's the difference.

 

Think of a boundary that's important to you. (Maybe you have a boundary about being touched in a certain way or about a policy of honesty with friends or a certain level of contact with a family member or maybe even a boundary about interactions with your boss/another person in authority over you.) Think of someone you care about (or otherwise a relevant person in that scenario) in some capacity that explicitly knows you have that boundary and then specifically ignores and crosses that boundary and then outright lies about it, perhaps even gaslighting you to get you to believe them. Or even imagine that they secretly crossed that boundary and then later admitted to doing it, either by your confrontation or completely out of the blue because they felt bad about it. That might help you understand more how it feels when people get cheated on.

Thank you:) The boundary explanation helped a lot, and i should have said that i do know the difference between polyamory and cheating! Honestly i just want to be able to help my friends when they come to me for advice but it's an emotion i can't really fathom as i've never been in a situation where i have someone all to myself it's so weird

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Seconding what everyone else said, and I say this as an aro who is very much concerned with not being "tied down" to any one person in my life.

 

Imagine it like this. Let's say you're entering some sort of tournament that involves teams of two. You and your teammate are really excited for this tournament! You're very loyal to each other, ride or die. You work great together and really balance out each others' strengths and weaknesses. You're honored that your partner chose you as their teammate, and the bond you have runs deep; When you win, it will be together. If one of you goes down, you both lose. You're in this for the long haul, and you talk often about the strength of your bond as partners- There's no one you'd rather have fighting by your side, and you know your teammate feels the same. You're in it to win it, together.

As the tournament progresses, you notice that your teammate seems increasingly tired. Concerned, you question them about it, asking if they're ok; They insist they're fine, even though this kind of exhaustion is unusual for them, which you know because you know them so well as a teammate.

Eventually, your teammate confesses to you: This whole time, they've also been teaming with one of your opponents. All of that stuff about winning together, being the perfect team? That was all a lie. You've been putting in your all, giving 100% to support your partner, talking about how strong your bond is, how you'll win together- And all this time, your partner hasn't been giving their all, because they were busy working for another team without asking or even telling you, their loyal teammate. Not because they were tricked, or blackmailed, or anything like that, but just because... They wanted to. Because they liked someone else better. They could have said from the beginning, "Hey, I'd really like to play for this team too- Is that cool with you?", but instead they lied to you, telling you that you're the only one for them, that you're an unbreakable duo. They didn't care about you enough to be honest with you, or ask how you felt. They did what they wanted, without caring what you wanted; They lied to you, and even compromised their ability to provide what they'd promised- While you'd been putting in full effort to win the tournament, as was the arrangement, they were not, because they were dividing their time and energy between you and someone else, while claiming that they were giving 100%. After everything you did for them, all the genuine effort you went through to win the prize together with them, they let you down by lying to you and not treating you with the same respect you were treating them.

Wouldn't that suck?

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21 minutes ago, arokaladin said:

There *isn't* anything wrong with being with two people. The problem is when that wasn't discussed and one person is going behind another's back. I think maybe you're mixing up cheating with polyamory, and those aren't the same at all. Cheating within a monogamous (non polyamorous) relationship is where two people have agreed to be together, and one of them sees another person without the first's knowledge or agreement. Polyamory is when multiple people all agree to be with each other, or that their partner can see other people (it can be many other things too but the agreement is what's important.)

 

Romantic relationships in our society are in most places monogamous by default. This is a norm we need to challenge, and the fact that romantic and platonic relationships operate on different rules is also something we need to challenge, so I see why you as someone on the arospec may feel confused about the exclusivity of romantic relationships when people are free to have as many friends as they like, but like it or not that's the norm. People assume their relationships will be exclusive, so conversations need to be had if that's not going to be the case.

 

Moreover 'cheating' doesn't just mean being with multiple people, and it can happen in polyamorous relationships too. If a triad lays out the 'rules' that none of them will have any more partners and one of the three does, that's still cheating. If a couple have an open relationship on the condition that safe sex is practiced whatever, and one partner has unprotected sex with a new person, that's cheating. Really try to think of it as breaking the rules.

 

So, tl;dr: 'cheating' isn't not being 'tied down', it's violating the boundaries another person/people in your relationship have set out. It's wrong because you've done something that you know your partner(s) didn't want you to do and will be upset by. I hope that makes sense.

 

 

Of course i understand that it's wrong because it was a violation of boundaries! I guess i'm wondering more on the emotional side of it because it sucks when my friends come to me for advice when they have been cheated on (usually i'm good at advice) and i just cannot comprehend how they are feeling and why it hurts so much that the person they are with shared an emotional connection or sexual experience with someone else or why barely any relationships are polyamorous. Maybe it will become clearer with time

8 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Seconding what everyone else said, and I say this as an aro who is very much concerned with not being "tied down" to any one person in my life.

 

Imagine it like this. Let's say you're entering some sort of tournament that involves teams of two. You and your teammate are really excited for this tournament! You're very loyal to each other, ride or die. You work great together and really balance out each others' strengths and weaknesses. You're honored that your partner chose you as their teammate, and the bond you have runs deep; When you win, it will be together. If one of you goes down, you both lose. You're in this for the long haul, and you talk often about the strength of your bond as partners- There's no one you'd rather have fighting by your side, and you know your teammate feels the same. You're in it to win it, together.

As the tournament progresses, you notice that your teammate seems increasingly tired. Concerned, you question them about it, asking if they're ok; They insist they're fine, even though this kind of exhaustion is unusual for them, which you know because you know them so well as a teammate.

Eventually, your teammate confesses to you: This whole time, they've also been teaming with one of your opponents. All of that stuff about winning together, being the perfect team? That was all a lie. You've been putting in your all, giving 100% to support your partner, talking about how strong your bond is, how you'll win together- And all this time, your partner hasn't been giving their all, because they were busy working for another team without asking or even telling you, their loyal teammate. Not because they were tricked, or blackmailed, or anything like that, but just because... They wanted to. Because they liked someone else better. They could have said from the beginning, "Hey, I'd really like to play for this team too- Is that cool with you?", but instead they lied to you, telling you that you're the only one for them, that you're an unbreakable duo. They didn't care about you enough to be honest with you, or ask how you felt. They did what they wanted, without caring what you wanted; They lied to you, and even compromised their ability to provide what they'd promised- While you'd been putting in full effort to win the tournament, as was the arrangement, they were not, because they were dividing their time and energy between you and someone else, while claiming that they were giving 100%. After everything you did for them, all the genuine effort you went through to win the prize together with them, they let you down by lying to you and not treating you with the same respect you were treating them.

Wouldn't that suck?

that was a really good explanation! If i can translate it into something i am passionate about it makes a lot more sense:) i just want to understand it more so i can help my friends, Kind of glad i don't have to worry about all that now haha

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26 minutes ago, Alexrobinmc said:

that was a really good explanation! If i can translate it into something i am passionate about it makes a lot more sense:) i just want to understand it more so i can help my friends, Kind of glad i don't have to worry about all that now haha

 

Oh good! I'm glad it helped. Here I was worried that maybe it didn't actually make any sense and Yugioh had just left me disconnected from reality, lmao.

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30 minutes ago, Alexrobinmc said:

Of course i understand that it's wrong because it was a violation of boundaries! I guess i'm wondering more on the emotional side of it because it sucks when my friends come to me for advice when they have been cheated on (usually i'm good at advice) and i just cannot comprehend how they are feeling and why it hurts so much that the person they are with shared an emotional connection or sexual experience with someone else or why barely any relationships are polyamorous. Maybe it will become clearer with time

Right! sorry if that came across like I was accusing you of being alright with crossing boundaries, I just wanted to explain that that's why many people feel upset by it.

I'l say though that you don't have to fully understand the emotional side of things, and I'm sure your friends aren't expecting you to if it's completely outside of your own experiences. A lot of the time when people are upset they might not need you to offer advice or get what they're going through 100%, just for you to be there, and listen to them and comfort them. 

I get why it would be annoying for you though. I often don't fully understand my friends' feelings or how to give them advice and it can be frustrating. If you really want to help when your friends come to you with this sort of scenario and don't know how, perhaps you could ask directly if there's anything you can do for them? People usually don't mind you asking and will be thankful you gave them the chance to state what they need.

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It's not about being tied down to someone. The thing is : in a monogamous relationship, both people have an agreement, that they won't see someone. Cheating is breaking this the agreement, most of the time they also lied. So you feel like you gave your trust to someone and they decided to betray you. Like if you decided to go to the show of your favorite band with a very good friend since a long time, but this friend decided to go with a person they barely know instead, without telling you.

 

Also there is probably a mixed of anger and guilt because some times (not everyone I suppose) the cheated one wonder why their partner feel the need to betray them like that, what did they do wrong (and some cheating person will add to that when they justify themselves).

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I sorta understand that! I feel pretty awkward discussing it because I don't really get their romantic

attachments that formed the bond in the first place. But from what I've heard, it's kind of like betrayal

of sorts... though, what I really don't get is why people date cheaters in the first place! It's one thing to 

simply not know, but if you do know they cheat... why go for them? Or stay with them after they cheat?

What stops them from hurting you again, and does "love" reaaaaaaaaally stop them?

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I also have trouble with understanding why someone would care about sexual monogamy. Before I realized I was aro I used to think that I'd be ok with any boyfriend of mine to have sex with other women.

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I guess it’s like this. Imagine you were someone’s best friend. They said you were their favorite, you knew they were your favorite, and you loved them more than anyone else in the world. Now imagine they were forced to choose one of two people to never see again. What if you were chosen? Would you be hurt? What if they never told you they liked the other person, or that they would never see you again? Would it hurt more or less if the other person was your friend? It’s not about it being wrong to have another friend, it’s that they didn’t trust you to know they were friends. They told this other person that they were their best friend. The one thing you were sure you had isn’t something you have anymore. Thats what I think. I honestly wouldn’t know, but that’s how I imagine it.

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It's a breach of trust and consent and a disregard for the other person's boundaries. A lot of people who have been cheated on feel like they're not good enough for their partner.

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On 3/11/2020 at 8:51 PM, Holmbo said:

I also have trouble with understanding why someone would care about sexual monogamy. Before I realized I was aro I used to think that I'd be ok with any boyfriend of mine to have sex with other women.

Yes, that's a less loaded way to put it. I mean, of course it's bad to break agreements and lie about it. The question still remains why it is taken so seriously in this case compared to other agreements.

Also, in some cultures this agreement of monogamy is not made explicitly, just implicitly assumed.

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4 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Also, in some cultures this agreement of monogamy is not made explicitly, just implicitly assumed.

The assumption is what really gets to me. Before an agreement of monogamy is made I don't see how there can be a breach of trust. Yet my friend who has her own longterm sex-friend has been dumped at least twice because a partner has found out that she was having sex with her sex-friend during the period of time of their first few dates. 

The only way I understand cheating as being a particularly bad case of lying or breaking an agreement is if there is a flavour of possessiveness or ownership in the relationship. I was accused of 'friendship cheating' which is when I discovered one friend thought he could possessively claim me which was another massive red flag that our friendship was toxic. 

As for helping friends through the emotional fallout of a cheating partner...luckily or unluckily I was able to understand the depth of their pain because I knew enough about their circumstances to understand the sense of betrayal in a way not directly connected to romantic feelings. The cheating partner putting my friend's sexual health at risk. The cheating partner having sex with an underage person. The cheating partner having sex in a non-consensual situation. The cheating partner trying to continue the relationship after cheating by using emotional blackmail including threats of suicide. 

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when I was in a romantic relationship about a year or so back I ended up technically cheating on them (I was drunk + we were playing truth or dare/dare or dare)(it was only kissing also). I was completely transparent about the whole ordeal, telling them the day after, knowing that it wasn't the first time I kissed someone when I was with them and they didn't seem to be bothered about it. They made a whole thing of it this time, making me make a groupchat with them and my friends (which was a mess because of language barriers and it made the whole thing worse) even after I apologised multiple times and tried to make them understand that it was mistake and that I was extremely sorry and that it was a one time thing. 

I understand that it was something done without their say in it and that looking back it was wrong for me to that in that relationship, but at the same time they were sending mixed signals.
It was a learning experience in some ways, making learn that I should talk over the yes and nos of a relationship before hand (especially since I discovered I was aro which add complications sometimes). 
If I put myself in their shoes, I can see why they feel bad. I did something that I still hadn't done with them (we were in a ldr) with multiple different people. It was a break in the trust they had in me. I don't understand why they made me wrap my friends into it, counting that it was something between me and them, but they felt it was needed and that's fine). 
(At the same time I might of not understood why they were making a big deal out of it due to the fact that I'm aro and I don't fully understand how romantic feelings work)

I understand what you mean by not understanding why people make a big deal out of it in some situations.
Ironically they cheated on me at the end of the relationship without telling me anything, which hurt more. If they were transparent about it would of hurt less, but still I didn't make a fuss and just moved on.
It's something I don't feel should be made out as a big deal, especially when you aren't living with the other person and aren't financially dependent on them and when you're in high school or middle school (of course they are certain situation like if you're married which makes it bigger and more complicated to sort out).

But in conclusion: relationships tend to be messy if no rules are set up before hand and sometimes it's better not to be in one if the other person can't respect or understand why you need those rules. 

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On 4/16/2020 at 7:42 PM, DeltaV said:

Also, in some cultures this agreement of monogamy is not made explicitly, just implicitly assumed.

I'm reminded of a thing I've seen recently about "ask culture" vs "guess culture". 

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