relationships and infidelity

Discussion in 'Culture' started by northover, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I completely agree with you. And yes, rigid religious interpretation lays all blame on the unfaithful one because we all have a choice. While I agree that many actions of one spouse may lead another spouse to cheat, ultimately the cheating spouse made the choice to cheat. He/she could have reacted differently; it was ultimately his/her choice. Therefore, the cheating spouse must accept ultimate blame for making such a choice. Where rigid religion often fails is in ALSO casting fault and responsibility on the non-cheating spouse for his/her behavior that contributed to the infraction.
  2. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Therefore, one should never hide behind the excuse "he/she made me do it". It reminds me of the excuse Adam gave God after eating the forbidden fruit: "It's the woman you gave me, Lord" - My husband says it was an excellent explanation, "Never under-estimate the power of a nagging woman. A man will cut off his right arm to make her stop." :)

    (Which obviously isn't true since I've been nagging at him to hang my new clock for two weeks and he's yet to do so. ) :wink:
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Well said, Katka! If the spouse wants to cheat, let him/her get a divorce first. And no, I'm not advocating divorce in such circumstances, but rather think it much less painful for the marriage to end in fidelity due to "irreconcilable differences" than for one spouse to have to deal with the infidelity of the other.

    I think for most cases of infidelity, this amounts to a cop-out, Katka--sorry to be so blunt. Yes, there are probably more often than not other issues in relationships where infidelity is a problem (e.g. poor communication, loss of intimacy or trust, etc.), and in some cases the non-offending spouse may share a small portion of the blame, but I would say that this is usually the exception, rather than the rule. In the end, as you said, "ultimately the cheating spouse (not the other!) made the choice to cheat."
  4. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Don't get me wrong, when I say the rigid religion needs to cast fault, I'm not speaking of fault for the cheating, I'm speaking of fault for his/her behavior - whatever it was the other spouse did that led the cheating spouse to cheat. Often times, religious groups will place all the fault onto the cheating spouse (cheater) and fail to remind the other spouse where he/she failed in the relationship as well. Therefore the fault for cheating lies solely on the cheater who chose to react to his/her situation by cheating. Yet, the non-cheating spouse still should be reminded and must deal with his/her poor behavior that led the cheating spouse to his/her decision.
  5. Anna683

    Anna683 Well-Known Member

    But isn't it a bit unrealistic to expect a long-term relationship to run smoothly 100% of the time? Surely most relationships have their good and bad times? Going by your argument that infidelity is a consequence of problems in a relationship, then it is bound to happen, as every relationship will inevitably run into problems at some point.

    I agree with you when you say that it's the cheater who decides to cheat. However, I don't see why the other partner's behaviour should be assumed to have played a part in the infidelity. If, for example, a man cheats on his partner after she has just had a baby, or has been away from home attending to a sick parent, is it fair to ask her to examine her behaviour? Perhaps the cheater cheats just because they feel like it at the time.

    As for religion, I don't see what it has to do with putting the blame solely on the person who makes a conscious decision to cheat. Surely it's quite logical to blame adults for their own actions, whether you're religious or not. If, for example, a drunk driver causes a road accident and kills another driver, most people would blame him alone for his actions, irrespective of their religious views. Surely both the religious and non-religious members of a jury would be just as unlikely to accept his argument that the real reason for his driving into another vehicle was because his wife wasn't talking to him and expect the wife to share part of the blame for the death. They would expect him to abide by the rules of the road, irrespective of the state of his relationship. In the same way, I don't see why the state of a person's relationship should be considered an excuse for breaking their commitment to certain ground rules, such as remaining faithful (unless they never made this commitment in the first place, in which case: is it even a relationship?).
  6. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    I would throw this into the mix.
    Some people will cheat no matter what, irrespective of the behavior of their spouse. That behavior of the spouse is not the motivator. The motivation is to pursue someone outside of the bond. Such personalities are not ingredients for a good relationship if fidelity is what you are after.
    Blame the cheater, not the one being cheated on.
  7. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Not at all, there are problems and problems.
  8. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I'll take objection to the phrasing of "leading someone to cheat." The non-cheating spouse may have made decisions to cause or worsen a poor relationship, but their behavior does not "lead" to cheating by their spouse. As you say, the blame for cheating lies with the cheater. In the vast majority of cases, the only blame that should be attributed to the non-cheater should be any inappropriate behavior that contributed to a poor relationship. Otherwise, this will invariably be construed as a justification of the cheating.

    This is much better wording. Again, however, I think it is essential to separate the causes of the poor relationship from the choice to cheat.

    As for religious groups, I will say that many fail miserably when it comes to marital advice. There is often pressure to keep marital difficulties secret from friends and family, since there is a stigma attached (and not only in religious groups, but especially so); hence, many troubled couples never seek counseling until their conflicts become so divisive as to defy a unified solution. And when an instance of infidelity occurs, the shock among friends and family is complete, since no one had any idea that anything was wrong with the marriage in the first place. So, as you say, Katka, the religious community deals more with the cheating that any marital difficulty that preceded it. This is something that religious communities definitely need to deal with better.
  9. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    No, it may be a consequence/symptom but it isn't bound to occur. Many can react differenly than cheating such as leaving, counseling, etc.

    Of course there are times when one cheats and the other's behavior played no part in leading to it. And of course non-religious people fall into casing blame soley on one person. However, our conversation was about a relationship where the both spouses are at fault for the poor relationship and how many rigid religions fail to recognize this.
  10. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Your right, that is much better terminology.
  11. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    No one is ever ever ever even partially responsible for the other person cheating on them. Not even wife beaters. If you are unhappy you LEAVE (or or you run). Cheating is disgusting.
  12. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Don't be so quick to judge. Not everyone is strong enough to walk away from a destructive relationship; especially abused women - especially with children involved. Although immoral, many times it takes the support of another relationship to provide enough strength to walk away from the abuse.

    I'm not condoning it or making excuses for or justifying cheating; but in situations like those, there must be some grace, compassion, & understanding.
  13. bouncingczech

    bouncingczech Active Member

    I am a male who's been married three and half times. Some of my spouses and past girlfriends were victims of spousal abuse by past husbands or partners. In most cases there were scars, not so much physical as emotional. It is easy to say "well, just leave when you are beaten", but reality is not as easy as that. Granted, I find it hard to understand, but getting out of an abusive relationship is not easy for any woman, regardless whether there children are part of the equation. This is a HUGE problem that is difficult to solve.

    I have a question though. Can you define infidelity for me? When does it start? Is it physical or emotional or both? What is the line?
    I know what it is for me, but that doesn't mean anything. It's relative.
    Thank you
  14. Anna683

    Anna683 Well-Known Member

    I would say that it could be either entirely emotional, or both emotional and physical. Not sure if it could be entirely physical, though, no matter what someone might claim. It must surely start at an emotional level, when a person who already has a partner deliberately seeks out the company of, spends time with and cultivates emotional intimacy with someone to whom they are attracted rather than finding ways to avoid them.

    You have a very interesting website, by the way. Your anecdotes are very entertaining and it would be great to see them in a book!
  15. bouncingczech

    bouncingczech Active Member

    Well, that is a pretty good definition. And thank you for the kind words about my site.

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