A little more than a year ago, one of my Facebook friends posted the following status:

“Yesterday I broke up with my girl. Reason why? I admitted having cheated on her. She rightly broke up with me.
The question I have for you guys, is: ‘Why would anyone do such an action if he already has almost everything he needs to have?’ Have anyone of you guys ever cheated on your girl? Why did you do it?

I’m questioning my loyalty towards girls right now, especially because I have been cheated on before myself and thought of myself that I would never even dare to think about doing such a thing.

I’m afraid this might be something that will repeat itself in the future, a sort of ‘needing more’ than what you currently have. I do not really know what I can or even should do about this.

Is it normal? Or isn’t it? What’s your take on this, guys? “

 

This guy clearly had his heart in the right place.  Yes, he did a “bad” thing.  But he knew it.  He actually asked this question because he felt so bad about the situation that he wanted to make sure he would never have to hurt a woman like that again.

And while I agree that there’s often a gray area when it comes to infidelity (For example:  What if your husband is an abusive tyrant who hits you and threatens to murder if you if you leave him, but your co-worker is mister perfect.  Would it be wrong to cheat?), some of the comments I read on that  Facebook status literally made my jaw drop while shaking my head in disbelief. (Come to think of it , that must’ve been a funny sight 😉 )

Here are some literal quotes from people who commented on the status:

I cheated on a girlfriend and it was just right in my mind, i didn't even feel guilty, it felt like the right thing to do.

...

..whether we judge it right or wrong, it all comes down to what is right in your values. But it's one of those never ending discussions I guess

...

1. Don't get caught

2. Be sure that is what you want.

3. Enjoy

4. Don't be sorry for what you have done , It's what you wanted

5. Don't make it complicated.

6 If you get caught deny to the grave.

...

Even tho it's viewed as cheating when you have sex while in a relationship, I don't view it that way. To me it's like I love playing the piano (which would be going out, gaming girls, hooking up etc.) so even tho I'min a relationship, I must still play for the love of the music. But not because my girlfriend doesn't statisfy me in any way

 

Unbelievable, right?

It reminded me of some of the scenes I witnessed as a teenager.  Men cheating on their girlfriend every weekend, claiming it was part of their “normal manly” urges.  Some even said it was “part of being a man”.

At one point I knew 2 guys who repeatedly helped cheated on their girlfriends together without ever confessing.  "Fun" fact: one guy’s girlfriend was the other guy’s sister.

Ironically, all these people would've totally flipped out if their girlfriend would’ve done the same to them.

Now I know women do this all the time as well and it’s never a one-sided story of “good person vs. bad person”.  In some cases you can even say it would never have occurred had the person being cheated on behaved differently in the relationship. But that’s beyond the scope of this post.

Instead, what I’d like to address with this post is the specifically disturbing idea that it is okay to cheat on your girlfriend and blame it on your “manly instincts” or “urges”.

So here’s to all men who use that excuse to justify their dishonesty:

It's not "right" or "wrong" to have multiple sexual/romantic partners at the same time, and you are the only one who can decide what feels right for you.

The problem with cheating is that it involves not being honest to the person you’re romantically involved with, or even yourself.

You’re so proud of being manly right?  Well then, if you really want to do something, own that desire.  Or do you consider it stronger and more manly to hide away in a safe little corner instead?

I used to believe only “bad people” cheated.  But as I grew older, I learned to understand how it can happen between people with good intentions.

After being in a relationship for 4 years with a woman I really loved, I got super wasted and came dangerously close to cheating on her.  I never thought I would ever even came close to doing such a thing.  But apparently it was possible.  Even when you have the best intentions and love her dearly.

As soon as I felt I would be capable of doing such a thing, I communicated to the girl I was with that evening that I really wanted to be a man who treats his woman respectfully.

I told her to understand that and watch my behavior as well as hers.  She was very respectful of my relationship and we just talked for the rest of the evening without crossing any boundaries.  I still felt like I did a terrible thing though, for letting it get that far.  And I was scared shitless my girlfriend would leave me for it.

The event was definitely one of the worst things that happened to our relationship at the time, but at least I didn’t cheat and we could openly talk about it the day after.

At the same time, this evening also opened my eyes to some feelings I had that I had been denying for a long time.  The fact that I don’t believe in traditional relationships for example.  Which was another “risky truth” I’d have to admit to my girlfriend if I wanted to be entirely honest to her.

 

In the end, this situation turned out fine, even after some people tried to use that situation to turn us against each other.

Because we still maintain this level of honesty, I have one of the best relationships I can imagine with my ex-girlfriend.  We still meet from time to time and are really there for each other as friends when we need it.  Because we have so much shared history, it can be really nice to have a friend who really understands your feelings on a deeper level when you want to talk about personal issues.  Sometimes we even talk about our feelings for the new people in our lives and encourage the other person to really go for someone we know would make them happy.

I also run into the other girl sometimes, and it’s always fun to talk to her.  Perhaps because I didn’t put her into some complicated situation full of lies/deceit/people blaming her like I would’ve done if I had kissed her.  But that's just a wild guess 😉

If I would not have been honest about this situation, I would have ruined my connection with both people.

 

Ultimately, my opinion on the matter is this:

Using your “uncontrollable manly urges” as an excuse for cheating is a weak thing to do.  (Wow, you’re avoiding responsibility for your actions by blaming your gender.  So strong and manly.  You’re such an alpha male.  I’m really impressed.)

If you know you have these urges, then just be unapologetically open about them up front.  Before you enter into a monogamous relationship.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy like me who simply enjoys connecting with people in general without feeling limited in any way or having to worry about jealous/possessive partners, or if you just like to "fuck around a lot".

If you are like that, you'll also have to realize that you are simply not compatible on a relationship level with people who don't accept that side of you.

For some people, being a man means dedicating yourself to one woman and family for your entire life.  For other people, it may be part of being a man (or a woman) to sometimes have multiple partners.  I totally understand that part, I feel the same way.

But  it’s also part of being a man to be proud of who you are as a person, including your (sometimes socially less acceptable) desires and stand up for them.  To own them.  To make no excuses for them.  Definitely not to hide them or lie about your actions to the person you love most.  Especially not in situations where it hurts people close to you.

If you want to be a man, be a man at all times.  Not just when it’s a convenient excuse to make up for the fact that you lacked the courage, honesty or self-control to do the right thing.

 

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