Sometimes we even believe the stories we’re telling. Sort of. Scratch the surface very hard though, and it’s very hard to lie to yourself about your feelings. Your behaviour.
This is why I have this firm belief in the idea that you can cheat without any actually sexy sex being involved. Because these things are about deceit. About betrayal. About sharing something intimate with someone other than your partner. Sometimes your partner has different opinions about what counts as intimate. But more often than not any differences of opinion are more about the lies we tell ourselves.
And more often than not, the worst betrayal is in the emotional bonds we form. I care if you fuck someone else, but I’ll probably get over it. If you get all tied up emotionally with another person, that I might not get over. Hence the common cry of ‘It didn’t MEAN anything’. Limits, I guess. After all, there is nothing wrong with making a new friend. And there’s something beautiful to be said for finding your Cara M’anama. The friend of your soul. My best friends have always been guys. This has sometimes caused friction with partners.
Cheating is an interesting subject to me, because I think it’s open to so much misinterpretation. And it’s more often than not treated as entirely one half of the partnerships fault when I think this is seldom the case. Sure, the one who gets caught doing the dirty is a sack full of cocks (or a sack full of cunts I suppose but that just doesn’t have the same ring) no matter which way you look at it. But the reasons why it happens are seldom one sided. I don’t think it’s good that someone is walking away from the relationship all self righteously angry and learning nothing from the experience. Nothing but mistrust. Because they don’t understand why it happened. Human nature being what it is, we don’t WANT to know about the part we played in our own betrayal. We just want to wrap ourselves in anger and self pity.
This non-sexy-sexy-cheating. What’s THAT all about? How can it be cheating if no one actually CHEATED. Definitions. What IS your relationship with your partner? Is it just sex? Probably not, because if that really was ALL it was then you wouldn’t get UPSET by cheating, you’d just get angry. But we get jealous, and hurt because we are EMOTIONALLY bonded to our partners. So then if we become emotionally bonded to someone else, isn’t that still cheating? Even if we are controlling our hormones.
There is a line of course. We all become attached to new and different people over the course of our lives. We find new friends, sometimes close ones. And that can’t be a bad thing. Unless it is. Unless we’re fitting that new person into our lives to replace something that’s missing from our relationship. Harp, harp. I’ve watched too many friends break their relationships this way. Because they didn’t see that they were crossing a line until they were too far over to step back.
For me, there is no chance at all that I will physically cheat UNTIL I am already emotionally involved with this other person. Of course there is also a good chance that if I’m already emotionally involved on some level, I’m also not going to be very keen to let go of this other person. So then, can I turn this into a friendship despite other complications? Perhaps. I certainly think it’s worth a try. But then, I find it difficult to open my heart to anyone, so having found someone I can open up to, letting go of them seems like a huge loss.
I’ve been there. I’ve slotted someone into my heart to replace something that was missing from my relationship. I should have just left my relationship. But at the time I was still IN love with my partner, and sometimes seeing the cracks isn’t so easy from the inside. It’s hard to admit that you should leave someone you’re still in love with, for both your sakes. Too hard most of the time. And sometimes it’s hard to avoid the draw of replacing the thing that isn’t there in your relationship. Too hard. When you cannot even see that something is missing. Maybe I wasn’t really in love anymore. Maybe I just loved him a lot and hadn’t noticed the change. Hadn’t noticed when the thing that was missing went from being not such a big deal to a major problem. I knew it was missing. I just didn’t want to believe it was a problem.
I suppose there’s the argument that knowing that there is a problem in your relationship, you should fix it. Not all things can be fixed. Yes, I think I’ve had relationships fail that didn’t have to. But if neither of us could be bothered fixing it, well c’est la vie. I’ve also looked back and been aware that the missing things in a relationship were not fixable. Because what was wrong was about who we were. What I needed was not something he had. What he needed was not something I had.
This was meant to be about denial. Someone new and interesting has walked into your life. Or maybe someone you already knew somehow becomes closer. You’re not DOING anything. Sure, you noticed them, sure you approached them – or they approached you, whatever. But you’re not going to DO anything. Deal with it! Or sure as anything you will end up doing something. And at each step you will keep telling yourself it’s ok. You haven’t really done anything. It’s not going to get out of hand. Everything comes back to communication with me. So here is where I would be talking. But I guess from watching other people that for most the easiest and probably best approach is to just walk away. Decide which bit is the bit worth keeping and walk away from the other bits. It’s easy to look at someone else’s failing relationship and think, ‘oh, he should never have kept seeing that tart if he thought he might end up cheating’ but what if that tart is actually someone he’s meant to be with? It’s easy to think why didn’t she just say NO when that bastard was getting too close. But what if she was so very lonely in her relationship? Does she deserve to feel alone? OK she should have walked away from her lonely, broken relationship. But that’s not always so obvious from the inside.
Should we deny our needs just because we’re already in a relationship? Or should we look at that need and wonder if we’re not missing out on something. Act on that knowledge. Be it leaving the relationship that isn’t perfect or trying to fix it. Are we supposed to be in denial with ourselves? Our partners? Back to communication. Because I guess on top of thinking that communication is good TM, I also think that if you aren’t prepared to try to communicate with your partner there really isn’t a lot of point in being with them. Why bother with relationships at all if you aren’t interested in the humanity of it?