Define Cheating

Does cheating only apply to the physical? If it does, is there a word for emotionally cheating on someone?

Would masturbation be cheating? How about doing it via chat on MSN or better yet, via live video?

I’ve always felt that the cheating happened long before the actual physical act. I think limiting it to the physical act is an old school way of looking at it.

Reflections from the other cheating thread. Thought it deserved it’s own topic, but if I thought wrong feel free to merge.

Nope. I agree with you, it’s too limiting to say it’s cheating if it is physical. Then again you get the Clinton definition and … :loco:


Cheating is an emotional thing. If the act made you felt guilty toward someone, then you’ve cheated, IMHO.

Interestingly, I had a discussion where cheating could happen with an inanimate object. IOW, a person’s time spent on the computer doing email, IM’ing, gaming etc is denial of time and affection to your spouse/SO and thus is cheating. I had to admit this line of reasoning gave me great pause. :ponder:

I’m still in pause mode pondering this while email, surfing, Forumos’ing etc :laughing:

Don’t tattle, she’s lurking around :wink:

I say more important than your definition is how you feel about it.

I consider that I am fairly forgiving, as I try operate on the premise that people are not perfect and it is natural to find other people attractive… then make a mistake.

This attitude has got me in trouble more than once, not because of any act, but because girlfriends have taken offence at my attitude being too relaxed. Apparently, they were looking for someone jealous and protective. I can sympathise with that.

Of course, this attitude again got me into trouble when a girlfriend cheated on me. I forgave her, and she spent the next two months treating me like shit before finally dumping me.

I guess looking at this, there’s not a real lot to recommend my view point, but I keep stumbling on.

If I was to define cheating, I believe that “thinking” is cheating, albeit hard to draw empiricals. If you have no regard for your partner, and you wish to cheat on them, that’s as good as cheating. The spirit in which you act is what I base my (utilitarian) morals on.

Chatting on MSN, flirting using Morse code… the medium doesn’t matter. I’m sure anyone would regard the cheating over the phone the same as face-to-face… so why would this not apply newer media?

Only Puritans other misinterpreters of Judeo-Christian doctrine would regard masturbation as cheating.


How about defining cheating as

= an act that would involve withholding oneself to the extent that it causes one to fall out of interity with involved parties?

Very good question.

Aside from ther obvious physical act of cheating, where do you draw a line? When does faithfulness butt heads with personal space for fantasies, etc…

To be faithful doesn’t mean you can’t think about other people, or doing things with other people.

I do think though, to cite your example, getting off with someone else through MSN is over the line. If you’re secretly messaging, emailing, chatting and devoting time to building a relationship – be it sexual, emotional, etc… – with another, that’s cheating.

Good litmus test: turn it around and ask yourself how would this feel if she/he were doing it to me?

Cheating would essentially physical intimacy. I’d raise my eyebrow at anything happening online because that would be thoughts of having sex shared by another physical human being. I think I could forgive it, but would want to find out why he’s going through that outlet instead of with me. I think I would have a bigger problem with him kissing and holding hands with another woman (or man) than with him just having sex, especially um, “Clinton” sex because the former implies more than just a physical attraction. The question to ask, though, is what are the conditions for forgiving cheating.

To me there is a forgiveable cheat: maybe once…if our relationship is really good, I might even let twice slide before his ass goes curbside, except under the following conditions:

  1. It’s with a friend of mine.
  2. He doesn’t feel bad about it.
  3. He has intentions of repeating the experience.
  4. It is beyond a purely physical relationship.

If any of the above conditions happen, forgiveness is null and void. List is not absolute and can change at writer’s discretion.

I believe in communication and fixing what went wrong, but I think that those 4 things above signify that things are beyond fixing.

No, but it dilutes your vital humours, makes hair grow on your palms and leads to blindness.

So stop it RIGHT NOW, and get back to typing with BOTH hands.

It is only cheating if you get caught.

To quote the current governor of the U.S.A.'s largest state:

“Eating isn’t cheating.”

It’s so cheap to call those NT$3-4 a minute “spicy girl” phone numbers I see on TV. I’ve been tempted to call just to practice Chinese. At $180 or $240 an hour, it’s an inexpensive alternative to a group class. That’s surely a gray area in the whole cheat zone because phone sex is all those girls do.

My wife feels I’m cheating when I smile at girls as I pass them on the sidewalk. She’s gotten better and no longer gets quite so pissed about it (or maybe I’m just more sly). She used to comment fairly regularly when it happended and I explained that, “Hey, I’m a friendly guy. I smile at old men, old ladies, small children and sometimes pretty girls. I can’t help it. What do you want me to do, frown? Do I have to look at the ground and pretend I don’t see them?” My response was all true: I don’t discriminate in friendliness between old geezers and sexy young girls.

But still. . . I can see why it bugged her. While I will smile at old grannies and chat with them at times, I’m usually not thinking “wow, nice tits” or “what a butt,” as I might when it happens to be a young lady.

So is it cheating if you smile at someone you pass on the sidewalk and think, “I’d love jump her bones”? I don’t think so. Isn’t it human nature to find other people physically or sexually attractive? Just because one makes a committment to one person, it’s not possible to shut down ones ability to appreciate others, is it? Even Jimmy Carter admitted he has lusted in his heart.

To me it’s only cheating if you go out of your way to pursue sexual stimulation from the other person. Not necessarily physical stimulation – flirting could qualify as cheating if you regularly get-off on flirting with someone at work, etc. But if you’re not going out of your way to pursue that, if you’re just walking down the sidewalk, some babe smiles and you think, “ohhhh god, what I wouldn’t give to lick her entire body,” or whatever, then it’s not cheating. It’s just human nature.

“You can’t call it cheatin’ cause she reminds me of you.”

Cheating is that thing you do at the poker table when nobody’s watching you like a hawk. Or telling the IRS that you’ve been unemployed and therefore penniless for the past umpteen hundred years. Or shoplifting from the 7/11. Or having something on, in whatever form, with somebody other than your significant other that made you post this question.