Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Once a cheater, always a cheater.

Why do people cheat on others? Specifically, the question on my mind is : why do men cheat on their wives, or their girlfriends? Yes, I know women cheat, too, but that's not what is on my mind tonight. I have never cheated on a husband or a boyfriend. The worst thing I ever did was, when my second marriage was in trouble, I called an old boyfriend to talk. I felt so alone then, and I didn't want to tell anyone who was in my day-to-day world. Somehow, if I told someone I saw every day, that would make the threat of divorce real. When my second husband found my cell phone records, he felt betrayed because he thought I was planning something. I wasn't, but I guess it did look suspicious. I just needed someone to talk to.

My first husband cheated on me throughout our marriage, but I didn't know about it. I guess it was naive of me, but I thought if I wasn't doing it, or even interested in doing it, neither was he. I was wrong. He cheated on me while we were engaged, he cheated on me when I was pregnant with my second child....I have reason to believe he was being unfaithful the very day she was born....and he had a longterm girlfriend before and after the birth of our fourth child.

He has never answered all my questions about why he did what he did. The only reason I know what I know is because one night after he had asked for a divorce, but before we separated, he had too much to drink and got a case of the guilties. I accidentally asked the right questions and he confessed to everything. Who knows, maybe there is more. Let's just say what I learned that night was more than enough information for me. And now, I dislike him so much, I don't really want to know.

The first serious boyfriend I had post-divorce lied to me. I finally trusted someone, and he blew all that completely out of the water. My second husband did not cheat on me, but he lied to me. He promised me that he was not telling anyone about the problems we were having, that "what happened at home, stayed at home." The truth was, he was telling everything to his ex-wife, someone he was still friends with. One night it all blew up, and I found out that he had told her some very personal things. That was pretty much the beginning of the end.

I don't know why some men aren't satisfied with one woman at a time. I know when I was dating a lot, after my first divorce, "sowing my wild oats", so to speak, that a lot of men I met just seemed to love to look. The thrill of the hunt. And some of them were afraid of commitment. As long as they could still look, and maybe chase a little, then they weren't "tied down". What I don't understand is, why do some men feel the need to look one woman in the eyes and speak words of love and devotion, and then go out and disprove those very words by being with someone else? Why go to all that trouble to lie? Do they really believe what they say when they say it? Or are they just caught up in the moment?

I have a friend who is having doubts about her boyfriend. He has some unexplained absences and some unusual circumstances. I can see why she is confused. Because of all that has happened in the last 5 years, I am naturally suspicious. I have to fight against my paranoid tendencies almost every day. My second husband had been cheated on by his first wife, and I think he put it best. He said, "Once you have been tricked, you are determined not to get fooled again. So you are always on the watch for it, even if you have no reason to suspect anything. You are determined you are not going to get played for a fool again."

My friend, N., said to me on the phone today: "If I don't trust him, I am lost." And she's right. At some point you have to decide, either you trust the man you love, or you don't. And then put the full force of your conviction, either way, behind it. Trust is hard. It has to be learned, to grow slowly. I trusted way too easily. I believed, back then, because I was being myself, so were the ones I was with. Unfortunately, not everyone is like that. Now I probably question too much.

I guess there is no point to this post, except just wondering. Cheating is a sensitive subject for me, for obvious reasons. I just wish men (and women) who do it would stop. The world would be a saner place for everyone if they did.


Kentucky Girl said...

I never trust them any more. I'm not a jealous person. But I cannot let go of my issues due to cheating from an ex. I KNOW deep down that my husband would never cheat. I KNOW this. I don't know why I have suspicious thoughts. I guess I probably won't ever. But he knows.

Hope your friend figures it all out soon. :(

Yorksdevil said...

Of course the obvious answer is the natural instinct to spread the seed as far and wide as possible for the survival of the species. Since civilisation is built upon the principle of suppressing the natural order of things I would have to say it's because most people are just not very nice.

After reading a website where women post anonymus confessions, I'm not inclined to be very trusting myself.

Anonymous said...

People aren't perfect, unfortunately, and this is just one fault that appears in some men - and women.

Hope everything works out for your friend.

sunShine said...

I have cheated in relationships before, not on my hubby, but past boyfriends and my ex. I never cheated on anyone that I had a good relationship with. There were always problems leading to the cheating. I don't know really why other people do it, unless it is just the thrill of doing something and hoping not to get caught.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Unfortunately, it will never stop. There are men out there who do all matter of dispicable things because they have no self control, or have never learned how to act right. But there are men out there who never cheat and never look at anyone but their own wife. The problem isn't that the men in your past lied and cheated, the problem is that you continue to be attracted to the types who lie and cheat. It's a cycle you seem to keep running into, and all it takes is you side stepping that path you're on to get off of it.

Perhaps you don't think, deep down, that you are worth more than you are, and so you settle for these types. But you really are worth it and you definitely deserve a man that will look at you and you alone. And you can have it also. It's easy.

The way to get him is to stop looking. By continuously looking for a man, women fall into that age old trap everytime. The right man for you will come to you when you least expect it and from a place that you least expect. The right ones can not be hunted.

Don't try to be someone, and just "be". Relax and let life guide you. Don't force it or you'll rip it. And if the right man is in your future, you will meet him.

HoosierGirl5 said...

I think I should clarify that, in this case, I really do have a friend with an unfaithful boyfriend. This isn't about me. It's just that her problem, plus my past, got me kind of pensive last night. I still worry about it, although I have no reason to distrust my S.O.

Thanks for all the good thoughts.

Where's the Coffee said...

I don't know. I think the reasons are really so situational. Some people are just incapable of monogamy for their own screwy reasons. My husband & I both cheated on our SOs in college - with each other. It was something I never thought I'd do, and it is something I can't imagine either of us doing now. In our case, we were both in long distance, long term relationships and became friends. We were completely platonic but after a few months, we both found that our SOs were insanely jealous and constantly starting fights about our friendship and accusing us of being unfaithful. At that point, we were both kind of like, "What the hell? We're paying for doing it anyway." Not mature, but it's what happened 18 years ago.

FindingHeart said...

Hoosier, I think about this still. My ex 'cheated' on me, eventhough it was more mental than physical. Nonetheless, shhe chose someone else over me and told me repeatedly, to my face, with a smile, that there wasn't anyone else.

So, do I feel I can ever trust another woman to the degree I had with my wife of 14 years? I think that someone may come into the picture someday and earn that trust, but until then, my general trust in people has been badly damaged.

Yet, she's still my friend and we get along well. We don't have the same level of relationship as we had, but I don't have to trust her to the same degree to understand her and love her for who she is. She can't be my wife anymore, but she can be a friend. I'm fortunate that her cheating was only at the level it was, or I know I'd be in a much deeper, darker place these days. So I'm thankful.

I'm all up for a saner world. ...still looking.

DT said...

I've never understood cheating. Then again, I've never been the kind of person to even THINK about cheating. My husband (then boyfriend) and I had a long-distance relationship for almost a year and neither of us ever gave any thought to being with another person.

I've never been cheated on by someone I cared about (the only time was in high school, and I was done with him begging for sex anyway. She could have his nasty self!), but I'm still a very suspicious person. I would have a really hard time with what your friend is going through.

Sounds like you have a good one now, at least!!