Can anyone hear you cheat in cyberspace?

So many blogs asking the question, “But is it really cheating if it happens in cyberspace?”  Maybe my scanning is biased but almost always women asking the question, almost always some guy hanging around suggesting it’s OK (and hoping for a piece of the action?) Some seeking assurance, some guilty, some just wanting to prove (even to strangers, even to nobody) that they are still worth something…to someone…somewhere.  Well, I’m no angel and have sat on both sides of this fence at different times.  So, is it cheating if it only happens in cyberspace?  Here’s my two cents worth:

 

Pro: If I am being true to myself and following a natural impulse, then surely that is the most important thing.

Hmmm, quite neat but by logical extension that just about justifies any behaviour, doesn’t it?  A little virtual rape, anyone?  And anyway, you might ask yourself if you can really be true to yourself if you can’t be even true to the people you love.

 

Pro:  If no one knows then no one gets hurt.

Ah, but, you know, most of us get caught – by accident or on purpose.  Sometimes it just takes longer.  And then just watch the hurt bloom…No virtual reality here, just tears and yelling, I’m afraid – in full 3-D, surround sound.

 

Pro: I owe it to myself to live a full life.

So learn to parachute.  Get a motorbike and ride across the nation.  When did you learn that you could only find validation and meaning through other people?  And you know what? Having a real person you love and who loves you is already a pretty good start to a full life.  Why are you risking that for a virtual screw with a phantom?

 

Pro: I still love my partner so nothing has changed.

Your partner is going to wonder, like everyone else, just how much that kind of love is worth.  It is almost the final insult to the one supposedly loved.  “Wow, I inspire that much love that it can be shared with strangers in the ether?  Couldn’t you just hate me?”

 

Pro: I’m only hurting myself.

Oh no, you’re not…you haven’t begun to measure the hurt that this is going to cause.  Not just to your partner but to his/her family, your family, his/her friends, your friends.  No one is going to get over this just because you identified a fine differentiation between life and cyberspace.

 

Pro:  I’m not in love anymore.

So, tell your partner.  It’s time to be grown up now.  And then, of course, you can cyber flirt to your heart’s content.  You won’t of course, because suddenly, when you have two alternatives, virtual sex will always come second to that guy/girl you fancy at the office.

 

Pro: Cyber cheating has enhanced the love life of my partner and me.

Oh, come on now…You’re suggesting that you’re doing it for your partner!  This rationale is quite handy though – next you can mug someone for his or her watch and give it to your partner as a gift.  Then it will be fine, right?

 

Pro: If it’s only virtual sex, then it’s not real.

Well, you know, as you get older, you realise all sex, is actually about something else.  Otherwise humankind would be an extinct species that happily masturbated itself into oblivion. It’s not about the sex, you know, it’s about the betrayal of trust.  And you can’t buy that back.  Not out here in the real world.

 

 

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13 Comments

Filed under Love, Marriage, sex

13 responses to “Can anyone hear you cheat in cyberspace?

  1. shewalksinbeauty

    YES! I KNOW!

    (so why won’t I stop with the cyber flirting?) I cry to myself almost daily wondering why I can’t just be happy with my marriage to a wonderful man. I spew hour long monologues to the steering wheel of my car trying to figure out why it matters. I have crossed the line though. I cheated in the flesh before I ever cyber cheated. Is it addictive? Do I find validation in having the power to turn someone on? Why do I crave sex so much that sex with my husband isn’t enough? I’m miserable because I have secrets. I’m miserable because I’m confused. I’m miserable because I know what is right and won’t do it. I’m elated because I feel free. I’m happy to be in control. I love to feel powerful. These are my issues. This is why I am here blogging my heart out, as if typing enough words will fix everything. I am wrong. I am cheating. I am currently unable to stop.

    (sorry)

  2. Nice post!

    @shewalksinbeauty: What you’re addicted to is taking the easy way out, nothing else. Controlling your impulses is difficult. Being truthful is difficult. Wallowing in self-pity is easy. Stop lying to yourself and taking the easy way out, stand up and take control. And stop being sorry, you’re no god and all humans make mistakes. Stop being weak, telling yourself that you are weak makes you weak. Nothing else. You are already strong enough. You can solve all your issues. No other person on earth can ever solve a single one of your issues.

  3. shewalksinbeauty

    Thanks for that. Nothing is black and white and I am currently hovering in a fog of grey. If I could flip a switch I would, but I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way in real life. I have been on this damn roller coaster for 2 months, I have good days and bad. Today is bad, so unless you have some advice on how to flip the magic happiness switch I’m going to carry on.

  4. TEG, Awesome breakdown. Most people don’t ever mature out of their teenage years to realize consequences to such actions. Its a moral quandram created by a broken system of dating. Well at least, I think.

    Anyway, I think you fleshed everything out bluntly and tastiful, and got a good chuckle out of me.

    Thank you for the feedback btw.

  5. SWIB really captures the problem succinctly and very honestly. This is one of those areas where intellectual awareness and even a sense of morality hardly dents our actions and only adds to our sense of confusion. I guess, as Lostrealist implies, to get to theheart of any action that bothers us, we have to understand the often deep-seated motivation for it. I wasn’t really advocating or condemning cyber cheating – I was trying to get past the phoney rationalisation so I could see what was left when the lies ran out.

  6. @Oscarandre: Thats exactly what I meant. We don’t want to find out the deep seated reasons for our actions, don’t want to take responsibilty for our own life and over that, we try to validate ouselves against some intellectual constructs of perfectionism. Thats the reason for all our emotional confusions, IMHO.

    Thanks for putting it so succintly :).

  7. shewalksinbeauty

    I didn’t think I had any reasons for doing what I did, maybe I was in denial about something in me or about my marriage before I was even faced with “my situation.” I had a moment of weakness and now, due to that fact, I am faced with more and more issues about myself, my marriage, and my heart. I’m still trying to figure out my reasons for straying and where to go from here. I don’t think sorting out what I want is even relevant since I have so many other responsibilities in my life.

  8. Brilliant post. Great comments, too.

  9. I guess I should follow up with some comments of my own.

    This situation is a hard one to be in. From the outside, it may seem like a simple solution but we all know that things are hardly as easy once we’re sitting in a situation where our lust and the things we so desparately want but can’t have are calling to us.

    And it’s so easy to do, cyber cheating. And because it’s not our bodies but our minds that stray, it just makes it harder to realize that there’s a line that can be crossed and that we’ve perhaps already jumped across it.

    I guess everyone’s own reasons would be different but I think the realization needs to be made that the last thing cyber sex is about is actual sex.

  10. nice piece, as always a pleasure to read. inspired (along with shewalksinbeauty) a piece on my blog “Infidel-ity”. thanks.

    jester

  11. Very interesting topic. My sweetie and I have talked about it. We had a friend whose marriage broke up (in part) due to cyber-cheating. They had an open marriage, where other partners were involved. The problem was that the spouse having the cyber-affair never told the other spouse about it. Hence, it was a form of lying or cheating.

    It wasn’t about the sex, but about the honesty.

  12. Pingback: TOPIC 1.1: Dating, Sex and Porn « Hans’ Net 12 Learning Journey

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