Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Nature of Cheating

For the purposes of this entry, I will address the concept of cheating as the term is commonly used in reference to personal relationships, rather than that of breaking rules in regards to doing various types of work.

I've had many people refer to my lifestyle of intentional nonmonogamy as "cheating". On the other hand, I've had several married men who approve of my lifestyle and who are engaging in extramarital sex without their wives' knowledge tell me that they are "just like me".

Wrong on both counts. I am unmarried. I have not taken vows that promise sexual exclusivity to any woman. I remain unmarried so I can engage in the life I have chosen openly without any conflict of interest. That is not cheating.

If I ever chose to marry, I would not promise fidelity, nor would I expect any woman to do so. It would be what's known as an "open marriage". This also would not be cheating, as she and I would have agreed to different rules. One must agree to certain rules in order to be bound by them; the mere fact that most people agree to such rules does not automatically bind one to them, if one has openly declared to live by different rules.

Married men who engage in extramarital sex clandestinely without their wives' knowledge or approval are not "just like me" at all. They have not openly owned their non-monogamous natures and they have vowed to keep the traditional rules of marital fidelity. They want it both ways and are playing both ends against the middle. They want the convenience of a wife and domesticity and also the sexual freedom I enjoy, without having to admit to it honestly. They are cheaters. To be honest, they should either live up to what they agreed to or openly try to re-negotiate the terms of their marriages.


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