Faulty Cheating Logic
I keep encountering people who believe the following:
If a man cheats on his wife, then the marriage was sexless.
If the marriage was sexless, then it was the wife’s fault.
Therefore, if a man cheats on his wife, it was the wife’s fault.
*I’m sticking with the male cheater and asexual wife here because this is the assumption that always gets thrown my way. Don’t worry, men, I’ll get to the assumption that gets applied to you too.
There are so many problems with this line of thinking…
1 – People cheat on their spouses for all kinds of reasons, only one of which is a lack of connection in the bedroom. If it was that simple to prevent infidelity, I bet cheating would be a whole lot less common (and easier to find when it was happening).
2 – You never really know what goes on in another person’s marriage, much less between their sheets. Why make that assumption?
3- Is the husband lying about the state of the bedroom in order to gain a sympathetic ear from the affair partner or from friends and family? Remember, they’re trying to make themselves look good and paint infidelity as a reasonable decision.
4 – If the marriage was sexless, it may not be the woman’s decision. I know it’s not culturally accepted, but men can also turn away from their sexual selves for myriad reasons.
5 – If the woman is turning down sex, are there underlying reasons? Sometimes these may have nothing to do with the marriage (trauma or health) and sometimes she shuts down as a direct result of her husband’s behaviors or inattention.
6- And finally, even if the bedroom was dead and the wife was the one hitting the brakes on sex, that’s still not an excuse to cheat on someone. Decide that sex is important enough for you to leave? Sure. Have a conversation about ethical non-monogamy? Cool. But lie and manipulate to get what you want while keeping them in the dark? No.
I see a similar type of faulty logic directed towards men:
If a woman cheats on her husband, he didn’t provide for/satisfy her.
Let’s dig into this one…
1 – Again, there are many reasons for infidelity. I’m sure this is one of them. But it’s only one.
2 – If this was her reasoning, was she looking for him to provide her with happiness and/or purpose? Because those are both things that another person can never provide for us. In other words, he’s set up to fail.
3- Was he working so hard to provide in one arena that he couldn’t give enough attention in others? For example, maybe he is put in the situation where he is working overtime to bring in enough money and also criticized for not being available. Those priorities have to be worked out as a couple.
4-Because we place so much value on what a man provides, an easy way for her to cut him down publicly is to imply that he doesn’t measure up. What does she have to gain from that approach?
5-And finally, even if she feels that he is not bringing enough to the table, that is still not an excuse to cheat. Decide that you something different and make the decision to leave? Sure. Have a conversation about needs and changes and boundaries? Absolutely. But leave him in the dark and sneak around behind his back? No.
I can see where both of these faulty assumptions come from. We all want to believe that we have more control over our lives than we do. We feel safer when we can believe that if we only do “x,” we can prevent “y” from happening. But it’s not that simple, as those of us who have been through the wringer can attest. Because when it comes to cheating, logic gets thrown out the window.