What is cheating?


#1

I'm not sure if this has been covered before. If so, please forgive me.

I want to hear people's opinion on what cheating is. It seems to me a lot of Catholics will say, especially women, that they would not divorce their husband unless he physically abused her or "cheated" on her.

Of course, I mean legal divorce, even if they remain married in the eyes of the church. Many would probably seek an annulment. Anyway, it seems the definition of cheating has "evolved", and I am wondering if these women are no different than the general populace but have just broadened the definition so they feel justified in their actions.

It's almost common knowledge that a man can cheat without even being in the same physical place as his cheating partner. I've often heard women saying their husband is cheating because he's emailing someone back and forth, or he facebooked someone, or he commented on someone's photo. This is called "emotional cheating". The definition seems so broad, almost any contact with the opposite sex who is not the man's wife is considered cheating.

Does anyone think to some extent this is a cop-out? Maybe a couple is having some other issues and then this is a convenient catalyst?

I know people might think I'm being naive or insensitive, but that's not my goal here. I want to get other people's opinions about what "cheating" means. I know a lot of women will move out of the house, seek an annulment, or seek a civil divorce for cheating, so I think it's an important subject and obviously requires a serious reason.

Your thoughts?


#2

I'm a married guy but:

I think you are overstating what cheating is. I've never heard any woman say interacting with any female other than your wife is cheating.

Personally, I think anything that should be reserved for your wife but you do with another woman is cheating.

ANY rommantic conversation or touching is cheating. These are things reserved for your wife.


#3

[quote="mcrow, post:2, topic:232549"]
I'm a married guy but:

I think you are overstating what cheating is. I've never heard any woman say interacting with any female other than your wife is cheating.

Personally, I think anything that should be reserved for your wife but you do with another woman is cheating.

ANY rommantic conversation or touching is cheating. These are things reserved for your wife.

[/quote]

Thanks for your responses. I got the poll up now, you can do that too.


#4

I also tend to think that if you are alone with a woman, even if it's completely innocent, and your wife takes exception to it then you should probably not do it. Of course, if it's a business thing that your job requires that complicates things. However, if you have a female friend that your wife isn't comfortable with you being around then you probably stop doiing it if you can.

I have no female friends that are not friends of my wife and I'm pretty much never with them unless my wife is around. It would feel weird to me to be hanging out with her friends in the first place.

While I don't think it would be cheating to spend time with them, I do think if you spend too much time with other women your wife has reason to wonder.


#5

well, here's a start:

Be not jealous of the wife of your bosom, lest you teach her to do evil against you.

Give no woman power over you to trample upon your dignity.

Be not intimate with a strange woman, lest you fall into her snares.

With a singing girl be not familiar, lest you be caught in her wiles.

Entertain no thoughts against a virgin, lest you be enmeshed in damages for her.

Give not yourself to harlots, lest you surrender your inheritance.

Gaze not about the lanes of the city and wander not through its squares;

Avert your eyes from a comely woman; gaze not upon the beauty of another's wife--

Through woman's beauty many perish, for lust for it burns like fire.

With a married woman dine not, recline not at table to drink by her side, Lest your heart be

drawn to her and you go down in blood to the grave. Sirach 9:1-9

ps. male, as per OP's request


#6

Also, if you don't mind could you post if you are male or female, I just want to get an idea.

Optional of course.


#7

Female

  1. Sex including non-physical versions (internet and phone sex).

  2. I would not include flirting or compliments but would include exchanging sexually explicit emails, texts and chatting.

  3. Exchanging impure pictures.


#8

My legalese definition:

Any act or omission, by a married person, with the intent to commence or maintain an amorous or sexual relationship, of any duration, with another other than the person's spouse.


#9

I am a married woman.

My definition of cheating includes any activity by either spouse that is directed at a person of the opposite gender (even virtual) and which the spouse hides.

If you are doing something hidden, even text messages, you are already cheating. Maybe not sex right away, but your energy is being directed away from your spouse and your family.

Porn is not physical adultery but leads to other sins, and sometimes true physical adultery.

Anything that gives your emotional energy to a person other than your spouse is cheating.

I voted that even a text to another person can be cheating, so all of those choices are cheating IMO.


#10

I'm an unmarried woman.

I'm with Juliane- I think anything you are doing that you would not do in front of your spouse can be cheating.


#11

[quote="Katie966, post:10, topic:232549"]
I'm an unmarried woman.

I'm with Juliane- I think anything you are doing that you would not do in front of your spouse can be cheating.

[/quote]

This proves my original point that women nowadays are classifying virtually anything as cheating, even text messaging. Then they feel justified in seeking a civil divorce and/or annulment on the grounds that the husband was cheating. How is this any different than the mentality of the society at large? What about a marriage vow. I know a lot of people will probably say that the husband broke that vow when he "cheated", but both people make the vow, not just one.


#12

[quote="phil8888, post:11, topic:232549"]
This proves my original point that women nowadays are classifying virtually anything as cheating, even text messaging. Then they feel justified in seeking a civil divorce and/or annulment on the grounds that the husband was cheating. How is this any different than the mentality of the society at large? What about a marriage vow. I know a lot of people will probably say that the husband broke that vow when he "cheated", but both people make the vow, not just one.

[/quote]

phil8888, who said anyone whose husband or wife had texted another person would feel justified in seeking a civil divorce or annulment? You are making a heck of a leap there buddy. If you want to ask me what justifies a divorce, that's a different question entirely.

Even in cases where there has been true adultery, a spouse may not decide to leave or get a divorce, there is such a thing as marital counseling and forgiveness.

Is that the question you want to ask? What form of "cheating" justifies a filing for divorce and annulment? For me, probably only true adultery where my husband has had sex with another woman. If he even kissed another woman but then stopped himself, repented, and told me, I might have to work on staying together. Anything "lighter" than that, I'd probably just get us into counseling.


#13

For the purpose of separation according to canon law I believe that the Church defines what constitutes adultery. I believe that for that purpose it is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse. I believe that other acts only count as evidence to prove adultery.

Now as far as cheating goes, I agree with TheRealJuliane. If you have to hide it to carry on a pseudo-romantic relationship then it is cheating


#14

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:9, topic:232549"]
I am a married woman.

My definition of cheating includes any activity by either spouse that is directed at a person of the opposite gender (even virtual) and which the spouse hides.

If you are doing something hidden, even text messages, you are already cheating. Maybe not sex right away, but your energy is being directed away from your spouse and your family.

Porn is not physical adultery but leads to other sins, and sometimes true physical adultery.

Anything that gives your emotional energy to a person other than your spouse is cheating.

I voted that even a text to another person can be cheating, so all of those choices are cheating IMO.

[/quote]

I'm a married woman also and agree with Juliane. IMO, all of your voting choices MAY be considered cheating, depending on the circumstances. And if it's something the person would not do in plain sight of their spouse or tell them about, it is definitely not appropriate and can lead to physical adultery (although may actually be virtual adultery already).


#15

I'm unmarried, female.

A while ago me and my best friend had a conversation discussing cheating. I found it interesting that she felt that if her partner was attracted to another woman, she would consider than cheating and would consider that to be worse than if her partner had sex with another woman. I feel the complete opposite, to me the physical cheating is much worse. Because you can't always help being attracted to someone, it's not a conscious fault. But you can help whether or not you have sex with someone.

I think extending the definition of cheating to the extent where any contact, even entirely platonic, with someone of the opposite sex is considered to be cheating is excessive. I can't see how such friendships are detrimental to marriage at all. If you're insecure enough in a relationship that you see any such contact as a threat then there's something wrong with the relationship or you and the way you perceive it.

Whilst it is true that you can cheat without any physical contact, I would say that relates more to sending explicit emails/texts/calls, etc. rather than just any form of contact. Physical cheating is more obvious, everyone knows what is appropriate/inappropriate but other boundaries are more flexible.


#16

[quote="phil8888, post:11, topic:232549"]
This proves my original point that women nowadays are classifying virtually anything as cheating, even text messaging. Then they feel justified in seeking a civil divorce and/or annulment on the grounds that the husband was cheating. How is this any different than the mentality of the society at large? What about a marriage vow. I know a lot of people will probably say that the husband broke that vow when he "cheated", but both people make the vow, not just one.

[/quote]


#17

[quote="phil8888, post:11, topic:232549"]
This proves my original point that women nowadays are classifying virtually anything as cheating, even text messaging. Then they feel justified in seeking a civil divorce and/or annulment on the grounds that the husband was cheating. How is this any different than the mentality of the society at large? What about a marriage vow. I know a lot of people will probably say that the husband broke that vow when he "cheated", but both people make the vow, not just one.

[/quote]

One person's opinion (even if it is my own) doesn't "prove" anything. It is up to each couple individually to define what they consider cheating. So if you find someone whose views are compatible with yours, what difference does it make what anyone else thinks?

I'm not really sure why you need to make this a gender-specific issue either. There are men who consider inappropriate texts cheating as well.


#18

So what do you do with a cheater? (When you are married to one?)


#19

[quote="phil8888, post:11, topic:232549"]
This proves my original point that women nowadays are classifying virtually anything as cheating, even text messaging. Then they feel justified in seeking a civil divorce and/or annulment on the grounds that the husband was cheating. How is this any different than the mentality of the society at large? What about a marriage vow. I know a lot of people will probably say that the husband broke that vow when he "cheated", but both people make the vow, not just one.

[/quote]

I think the hangup you are having is that women consider more than just sex and rommance to be "cheating". There is cheating in the sense of not being honest. If you are texting a woman and are making an effort to hide it, then what should she think? I leave my cellphone out for my wife, if she wants to see what I'm doing with my phone that's fine by me. I have nothing to hide. She's never looked my call logs that I know of but I wouldn't be upset if she did. Everything I do is open for her, she is my wife.

If I would text a woman and she asked me who I was texting, I'd just tell her. No big deal. Now if I was texting a woman and told her "nobody" and did it a lot then I think she has the right to be suspicious.

Frankly, I think a woman should be suspicious if their husband is texting a non-related woman a lot.


#20

[quote="Katie966, post:17, topic:232549"]
One person's opinion (even if it is my own) doesn't "prove" anything. It is up to each couple individually to define what they consider cheating. So if you find someone whose views are compatible with yours, what difference does it make what anyone else thinks?

I'm not really sure why you need to make this a gender-specific issue either. There are men who consider inappropriate texts cheating as well.

[/quote]

Something tells me the OP is texting some woman and his wife takes exception to it. :p


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