Savage Love

Cucking Dykes

Comments

1

Okay okay okay... I'll do it again.

2

Also fantastic answer from Dan to Duped Wife. I really appreciate his take on this and that just because a relationship ends does not mean it failed. It may have been a long successful run - it just, like most things, ended. I really wish more people would think like that. The marriage had both good and bad, it wasn't all one or the other. The world isn't black and white.

3

So, DUPED, the real question, as I see it, is WHY did your husband cheat? 1) Was the marriage not as “perfect” for him as it was for you, and if so, why? 2) Did he go looking for it or did he just run into someone he really clicked with? 3) If it was 2 and he was just with the same woman the whole time it’s a little different than if he was porking everything that squats to take a piss. I had an affair with a married woman when I was younger, and she loved and cared for us both...just because you love someone doesn’t mean you can’t love someone else at the same time, so maybe you could try poly with a third to keep your “perfect” marriage going. You were happy before you knew, could you be happy now that it’s out in the open and the lying can stop? Are you a little bicurious? So many variables, so few answers in your letter. If you’re reading these comments I hope you’ll jump in and join the conversation!

4

Dan missed the moral. Don’t fuck with gay cucks, is much catchier.

5

Ah, but here's the rub. Over time it becomes easier to lie and deceive. Forget, the betrayal. Her husband is a practiced and accomplished liar. Forget once a cheater, always cheater. Once a liar, always a liar is what should concern her.

6

An interesting question is just how did she find out her husband was cheating on her? Was she snooping?

7

Donny @3, yes, many other questions to ask besides Dan's. She knows now who her husband is: an unethical non-monogamist. Does she want to be married to an unethical non-monogamist, Y/N. Does she want to give him a chance to be in an open relationship where he's allowed other partners so long as he tells her about them? Does she trust him to be honest if the other partners are allowed? Is she okay with the idea of using condoms with her own husband because he's not using them with others? (The unsafe sex would be the dealbreaker for me.) I think she should ask him all these questions, but in the end, listen to her brain.

Skeptic @6, wow. You're making this her fault!? That question is not at all interesting, it's victim blaming. Jeez.

8

CUCKGIRL has got to be up there with the recent OUROBORUS in the Great Sign-offs Hall of Fame.

9

Also, if she were a snoop, surely she'd have discovered this long ago. He got away with it for five years which indicates to me that she was respecting his privacy. Undeservedly, may I add. Who knows how he slipped up, and who cares. He's the bad guy.

Also also, good on her for not blaming the affair partner.

10

GE1 has highly flexible thinking, usually an asset. Good for the couple if they've been able to stop somewhere they both enjoy rather than just pursuing the path to where he'd be in not a monogamous marriage but a celibate one (the perfect often being the enemy of the best).

LW2 certainly has plenty of options. Perhaps how much of the perceived perfection was based on presumed exclusivity will prove important. Ms Fan raises an interesting point; I'd say the questions of what blame if any to attach to the cheater and the accessory (much less likely) are better considered separately as independent issues.

11

Duped Wife: chances are you're in denial about how "perfect" your relationship is, and once you get out of it for a bit and clear your head, you'll have a lot of "wait a minute... you were actually an asshole" moments. Lots of "that little 'joke' you used to always do wasn't funny - you were being mean to me," and "you were always complimenting me 'oh you're just so much better and doing this stuff' but really you were just not doing your fair share of work," etc.

Be strong and move on. You can't truly love and respect someone you're constantly lying to, so basically it'll just be a matter of time before he gets bored of you and trades you in for someone richer, younger, more glamorous, etc. Might as well get it over with.

12

"many sex blogs...were lost forever"

Perhaps not completely. On the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" at https://archive.org/web/ if one enters a URL one can view it as it appeared on the days one selects in the past.

DW, your brain is right, your husband is a liar who put you at risk. Including (since you "just found out") at risk for COVID.

@9 BiDanFan
"good on her for not blaming the affair partner"

Agree 1000%. The affair partner made no promises to her, it's her husband who broke his promise (which is the essence of what's wrong with 'cheating').

13

Venn @10, 100% of the blame is on the guy who blew up his marriage vows by having a five-year affair and not even using condoms. Is the other person complicit, of course, but the vows were between DW and Mr DW and the extent of his transgression should not be mitigated in any way by whatever was going on in his co-participant's head.

14

CUCKGIRL - Assuming you are the cuck, you could pursue this verbally by asking your partner to tell you about a sexy scenario that would turn her on, while you talk about how you feel watching them.. You could use porn to pursue this, either watching your partner get off to porn and talking about how you can't please her as well as the porn ladies.. or you could both watch a scene and pretend that she is one of the stars while you just watch... you could watch her have phone sex or chat sex with someone else (or cam with someone else if you don't mind the privacy concerns) and actually cuck monogamously. I loved Dan's suggestion about using real past scenarios with exes, and fantasies about real people, a definite rival may produce more jealousy and humiliation, which I believe is the desired effect here. But most valuable is listening to your partner's erotic thoughts and feelings and letting them guide your play.

DW - If the idea of getting a boyfriend and staying married appeals, maybe chill and see if an open marriage may work for you. If you want a monogamous marriage, it's not going to happen. I don't think that blame ever really helps, accepting that your husband isn't good at monogamy.. or honesty.. and figuring out what you want now, is the only thing that's going to help. It's not the end of the world, nobody is perfect, and you would have had to move on if he died first anyway. Whether you choose to move on or try to work with your husband who has less honesty than you thought, and doesn't seem to be capable of monogamy, so long as you follow your heart you'll be fine. Sometimes it takes a lot of times to figure out how your heart feels, I think that's ok.

Those people who stopped cheating either quickly regretted cheating or made a major change, generally physically moving residences away from their other love interest. 1/6 years of marital monogamy (maybe) doesn't seem to be much to build a monogamous marriage, but anything is possible.

GASP - Gender bending butt play.

15

What the 'other woman'/'other man' is guilty of is the low standards/poor judgement of being with a liar.

Dan once likened the 'other woman'/'other man' to a getaway driver in a robbery, but that is not a good analogy, because a couple are not each other's property, so nothing is stolen. It is (as I said) about a broken promise (not a theft).

I'm not minimizing the offense (neither is worse than the other), I'm simply categorizing it properly. The purpose of doing so it to point out that blaming the 'other' is misplaced. (It's often done by the person who gets cheated on, because there's no inner emotional obstruction to being angry with the 'other', whereas there is an inner emotional conflict in trying to simultaneously be angry with, and want for themself, the cheater.)

16

@6 is sure was snooping then it was justified. The how isn't an issue is it? Even if she snuck into his email and tracked his phone it was justified.

17

@6 a skeptic and a cynic - why, does it matter? Maybe the other woman emailed her and said "I just found out the man I've been screwing for five years is married to you. Here's a video as proof." Maybe the husband accidentally called her by the other woman's name and subsequently confessed. Maybe the clouds parted and a voice from the heavens told her. How she found out is pretty irrelevant to her question, which was "can you give me a little perspective on finding out my husband was having an affair for five years"

18

GASP- while your question served as this week’s entertainment, I wonder why you asked it and if there is a desire on your side to implement this fantasy in real life.
As Dan pointed out you mentioned at least four different activities bundled together. If you want to have all of them at once it will be helpful to gain some experience first, trying one or two at a time.

It’s possible Dan also assumes you want to experience this fantasy, hence his suggestion to see a pro. While mentioning a pro is probably part of the entertainment value of the answer, it is actually a very good one as my opinion. Meeting with a pro, after telling them in advance what you’re looking for, will help both of you to navigate the session. It will give you a better idea as to what it takes and also help you identify your preferences and likes. Teaming up with a pro may also give you some experience and confidence, tools that may enable you to introduce and implement any or all with future partners.

As for a name for these acts bundled together, think of one that works for you. Maybe even name it after yourself, a combination of your real male name with a femme name of your choice or one you got from someone else. Something along the line of:
Max-in, Phyll-is, Raw-berta, Sean-aahhh, and so on.

19

Phi @14: ... or not spreading STIs...
She'll follow her heart straight into the sexual health clinic. Hearts want nothing more than the person who will inevitably break them. DW needs to follow her brain this time.

20

@1 &2: DOUBLE WA-HOOOOOOOO!!!! Dual congrats, Jack on scoring both FIRDT and SECNOD honors this week! Savor the glory of leading the SL comment thread. :)
@3 DonnyKlicious: WA-HOOOOOO!!!! Congrats on scoring this week's THIRDT Award, found only in Savage Love, and leading the comments with Jack. :)

Griz had to go in for an MRI yesterday (EEK!) for a pulled muscle in her right shoulder. I had to close my eyes. I could never work for NASA. Consequently I am not able to play alto flute for a while. Yikes about the procedure--that was a trip! One of the techs offered to have background music playing--David Bowie saves the day: "....Here...am I sitting in a tin can....far above the world...Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do......"

21

BDF

Red meat in the water. You should have paid more attention to my prior comment. Given that, I don't see how you could conclude that I was blaming the wife. That would be like saying that she made her husband lie to her. It was his decision and only his decision

No, I don't blame the wife at all. In this case, I would consider snooping (and I have a much different attitude towards it than DS does) more than justified by the actions of her lying CPOS husband. He put her health and life at risk by having unprotected sex with at least one other woman. (As an aside. Short of total abstinence or castration there is no guarantied form of birth control.. Not even a vasectomy or having your tubes tied is 100% effective. So add that to the risks her husband was willing to take) How many sex partners does the other woman have? She said she saw the video of it. I would expect video like that is not something you would just leave lying around. Was it accidental or intentional on the part of the husband? Maybe he wants out of his "perfect marriage". We know how she viewed it, no clue as towards how the husband views it. Has she been in an open (from her husband's standpoint) relationship without realizing? Did he come clean with her? Has he admitted it? Has she confronted her husband about this?

The typical situation. So many questions, so little information. I know the wife wants advice, but how can DS give any useful advice based on the limited information provided? A horrible analogy, but his advice sounds awfully like the advice given to so many women in abusive relationships. Well it's a good marriage except for.

Unlike DS, I don't see this marriage as salvageable. Trust being essential to a healthy relationship. Just how does she trust her husband ever again? Has her husband ended the affair? How does she believe him if he says he has? How does she know if her husband was cheating with just one woman. There is snooping's sake (bad) and then there is snooping because you become suspicious. What's the difference between a person "snooping" (the term DS uses) and hiring someone else to investigate her husband? None that I can see.

Jina @ 6 It matters because it goes to the issue of whether the marriage is salvageable or not. Whether the marriage is even worth saving. Trust is a two way street. Her husband has destroyed her trust in him. The husband could gas light or scape goat her. None of this would be a problem if she hadn't (done whatever). Blame the wife, she has destroyed my trust in her.

As far as I'm concerned. The husband deserves to be beaten to a bloody pulp. Hopefully there are no childrenninvolved

22

Skeptic @21, you come out with the most insensitive comment since Hunter got banned and now you're scolding -me- for what I should or shouldn't have paid attention to? Sorry dude, your comment was totally uncalled for, even if you did give the devil his due in the comment before. Why did you jump to "was she snooping" as your first guess to the irrelevant question of how she found out, rather than "was he careless" or "did someone rat him out"? Perhaps blame was not the correct word, because no, I don't think you were retroactively blaming her for causing her husband to cheat by being a snoop, but why on earth did you think it reasonable to bring up this theory that she, the wronged party, is actually an asshole too? Dan didn't mention snooping in this instance, so don't blame it on him. I don't know why your mind went there, but that thought should have stayed in your head.

23

On a lighter note, GASP may not be the straight boy in this fantasy scenario. ;)

24

@DW: I am so sorry to read about what you're going through, and especially during these current times, for you to find out that your husband cheated on you ten hears into your relationship. I hope everything works out for the better.

25

Ms Fan/Mr Curious - You're assuming there's only one relationship in the case. I'm not essentially disagreeing about the damage done by the cheater.

Your best friend just deliberately set out to marry your fiance(e) and succeeded. It doesn't mitigate what the fiance(e) did, but it does throw an extra lot of guilt into the mix in a separate calculation.

How would you advise a LW who wrote in with a kink for luring committed people into infidelity?

26

@25 venn
"Ms Fan/Mr Curious - You're assuming there's only one relationship in the case"

Not really; there is only one relationship in /this/ case. If the 'other' individual in this case is /also/ cheating, that's /another/ case not yet presented for our review.

"Your best friend just deliberately set out to marry your fiance(e) and succeeded...it does throw an extra lot of guilt into the mix in a separate calculation."

Exactly, but the guilt would be for breaking the implied promise inherent in a best-freindship.

27

Congrats Jack, Jack ,?!, and Donny for winning this weeks ribbons.

28

DW, wow. Lying, like stealing, are hard to go past. And for five years, that’s gotta hurt bad.
The good news is, you are still young.
I wouldn’t try to salvage this relationship after such a deceit, then I know how it feels to love some of a person while seeing the negative part. And it does hurt to walk away, because love is complex and we get attached to the comfort.
Why did he do this to you, who is this other woman, and does she know he’s with you.
Walk away, grieve, and go out there again. This man doesn’t deserve you.

29

CUCKGIRL, that sounds fun, and pandemic safe. Enjoy.

30

Yeah nah, five years of duplicity, DW, and you trying to find a way back from this. Has he shown any remorse?
Not sure why you haven’t left already. Yes, it hurts. How you deal with that hurt is what matters. How did you miss the signs, or was he so good at it there were none? Why would you want to cling to a person who has treated you this way, unless he’s showing extreme remorse and is willing to do couples therapy and his own.

31

Yes Fan, @19, DW needs to follow her brain, because this man’s transgressions must be breaking her heart.
It’s his cavalier attitude to her health all over, how could marriage to him be perfect when he’s been putting her at risk.

32

BDF @ 23
Good point, we may never know who GASP really is. I was assuming it’s a straight man’s own fantasy following Dan’s advice to contact a Femme Dom. I suspect Dan had jumped to that conclusion because a male name appeared on the email, and he possibly edited the question to include “straight boy” in order to clarify the dynamic.
Glad to see you’re ok as news arrived earlier today about a crane crashing on some homes in your city.

33

And he took videos of his deceit.

34

It's a shame that these are Covid times, and that DW is not on the threshold of a bright new horizon, free of her CPOS. I like Dan's advice. She said "he's been my best friend, lover, and support system for ten years". Could she delete "lover" and make the rest work, at least for a while?

Skeptic @6: snooping is retroactively justified when something one is suspicious about becomes proven. Whatever led to the suspicion is justification. Don't blame the victim.

35

I'll quibble with Dan's definition: "A cuckold relationship is a one-sided open relationship where one partner is free to have sex with other people while the other partner remains faithful."

The cuck may give oral to the "bull," or share other sexual intimacy (rimming, foot licking, anal, etc.)

And in practice, a cuck in one relationship may have independent sexual relationships with other people. There isn't just one way.

36

As for Duped Wife I would take time to grieve the relationship you thought you had with him (as LavaGirl suggests @28), and the future you thought you had with him.

Then I'd sit down and talk with him about what happened and what you both might want going forward. It's possible there's something to build on, but I wouldn't trust him to be monogamous.

Maybe he believed his longtime affair partner was monogamous to him. That doesn't get him off the hook, but it may help explain why he thought it was okay.

You have no obligation to stay with him, but also no obligation to obey those telling you to walk away.

37

I wonder how many would still ask for advice if it were legally binding.

38

Sadly, Thomas’s gay cuckolding blog is no more. .... (The moral of this story: Don’t fuck with gay cuckolds.)

Gee. I would have said the moral of that story is don't try to suppress sex. Throughout history, it's never worked. People gonna fuck, people gonna talk about fucking, draw and paint fucking, write about fucking, think about fucking, and sing about fucking.

39

EP @ 35
I was also under the impression that cuckolding has a broader definition than Dan's, as well as room for personal tweaking. Thanks for clarifying the matter.

Now that our in-house all-things-cuck expert is gone we have only ourselves to rely on ~;)

40

"I can’t give you a name—a name for this sequence of events and mélange of kinks—but I know plenty of professional FEMmale DOMinants"
Femdom could be an option, perhaps not as specific as letter write might like, but it is a name, one that has been used before..
@23 has a point, letter writer did use the third person for "straight boy". One wonders if GASP is imagining being a third party observer? Actually, that brings to mind part of a column from a couple of weeks ago:
" I get at least one letter every day from a woman [man] who’s worried her husbands [he] is gay because he likes to have his nipples played with or his butt touched or because he once had a feeling."
If you are imagining a woman doing the pegging I'd say that is pretty straight.

Dan has also done columns on "how did that happen".
"who wakes up in female underwear, tied up, gagged, " What?, boy was dressed, bound and gagged while sound asleep? It's fine if you choose to be fucked, it doesn't have to be beyond your control, I'd go so far as to say it is better if there is clear consent (though if you are handing money to a professional I guess your consent is pretty clear). I'm not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to be tied up if that is what you like, though if you are gagged it does make it hard to suck the woman's strap on (we could call it a cock but that might make GASP gasp).
In my first person fantasy, I choose to put on the short skirt (without panties) but then the woman does bend me over the kitchen counter and takes charge, (in a respectful loving sort of way)
As CMD implies @18, one can buy stereotypical women's clothing for one's self (and suction cup dildos, if you want) That reminds me of a quote attributed to Eddie Lzzard: “They’re not women’s clothes. They’re my clothes. I bought them.”

41

@33 LavaGirl: I caught that too.

42

Three weeks shy of 56--whee!! Another movie night for Griz, watching her right shoulder, Caddyshack, Easy Money, and Throw Momma From the Train. Red, red wiiiiine... Stay close to meeeeee.....my sweet little Love Beetle out for sunny day drives---sunny days --what a blessing.....

43

Venn @25, no, I am not. Even if he had cheated with, say, her best friend, he is still 100% to blame. His cheating affects the relationship between husband and wife. If she had a relationship of any sort with the co-cheater, that person's actions would affect that friendship, but it would be irrelevant to the relationship between the spouses. Do you see that? Even if DW's best friend came on to the husband, the husband is 100% to blame for not rejecting her.

In your hypothetical, if someone happens to fall for someone who is already in a relationship, perhaps that relationship is not very strong. If the feelings are mutual the people in those relationships have an ethical responsibility to break up first before embarking on this new relationship. Of course the ex will be hurt, but one cannot control another's feelings, only one's own behaviour.

I would not consider a kick for luring partnered people into cheating a "kink," but a character flaw. I would advise that person to stop behaving unethically, and perhaps to seek people in open relationships and role-play affairs.

Another thing I'm not assuming is that this is the only affair he had, but that too is irrelevant to the current situation. Unless he fesses up to more, there's no way she can know. I think she should assume the worst and ask herself if she can live with a life of lies.

CMD @32, thanks. I had been too busy and hadn't heard of the crane collapse, but I'm alive and well. I agree GASP probably is the straight boy because, on reflection, the woman in this scenario probably wouldn't describe herself as "a female." Which isn't to say that she wouldn't be having this fantasy. :)

EricaP @36, sure, she can stay. But at minimum she should insist on condoms and regular STI tests, because she knows he cannot be trusted in that regard. "Obey" is a strange word in this context. I don't think anyone is issuing instructions, merely offering their opinion on her question, which is can she trust this man going forward. And yes, my opinion is that if you can't trust someone it's better to DTMFA. She is free to make her choice but I feel quite confident that if she chooses to stay, she'll regret it. Of course there are exceptions. I do know relationships that have recovered from adultery, but those were short-term slips that the person felt remorse about. I can't see how one could both feel remorse over cheating and continue to to do so for five years, even, as Lava said, taking video evidence. DTMFA.

CMD @39: :-D

Crazy @40, yes, the writer might not be either the straight boy or the female kinkster, but a voyeur who likes to observe such scenes. Not sure how your mind went to querying the straightness inherent in the scene. Actually this seems to merit a neologism, as it's so common: the phenomenon of querying straightness when any deviation from stereotypical male heterosexuality is present. Since the man in question is indeed straight, what about nomophobia? Hmm, seems that's already in use...

As for the feasibility of this fantasy, I agree it does not seem like a realistic one to achieve. After the straight boy and the female negotiated this scene in advance, the female would need to wait until straight boy falls asleep, then tie him up, gag him, change his underwear (presumably to something crotchless), and peg him, all while he remained asleep. Unlikely unless some sedation is used, which would render the scene dangerous. Changing clothes and inserting a butt plug before sleep could help, or play-acting the scene and filming it for later enjoyment. Creative people could have some fun with this!

44

No-homo-phobia? Bit clunky...

45

Erica@36, I never expect letter writers to ‘obey’ my suggestions. Or anybody else in the world, my four year old grandson says no very easily.
I’ve given my reaction, this man has shown no respect for the LW, or her physical health.. what is there to talk about? “Oh honey, it’s only five years of my life you’ve made me doubt and look back over and weep, no biggie.”
To me it’s a biggie, and indicate this man is damaged goods. Why throw away more of her life over him. Fantasy land, that’s where she’s been living, for five years. Believing she had this perfect relationship, when really, like with Princess Di and Prince Charles, there has been three or more in this marriage. The LW hasn’t been enough for him. Though instead of being upfront, five tears ago, it was easier for him to keep his perfect marriage going with DupedWife, and continue his side affair/s. If it’s one woman, then we could say he’s got two partners.

46

BDF, "She'll follow her heart straight into the sexual health clinic."
We don't know that he's been very risky. He may only have had unprotected sex because she says she is in a sexless marriage and is monogamous to him. Which doesn't mean that she is telling the truth, but many of us have unprotected sex, and trust people to be monogamous, who could be lying all the time.. We also don't know that he's lied about anything else that's a big deal, if he's just lying about monogamy then it's possible that dropping monogamy could drastically improve his honesty, although I'd recommend a thorough investigation at this point. If she can get on board with having other partners but still loving her spouse then maybe they can be happy... Just as bad as lying about sex is that he probably loves the other woman if they've been together for 5 years. And that might take changing cities, and a big effort to break contact, for him to fall out of love, if it didn't happen naturally. (If she leaves, she can take comfort that he will very likely cheat on the next lady too, whether she finds out or not, unless he can start to be honest about nonmonogamy and negotiate open relationships.)

"No-homo-phobia?"
It is a particular type of homophobia, basically the "no homo" phenomenon of unnecessarily reassuring others nearby that they are straight. Hetero-paranoia, too clunky.. Hetanoia, heteronoia? Maybe a good opportunity to bring up queer issues? People used to add "not that there's anything wrong with that" (Seinfeld).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGAyQAkXajg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHOTnC_KbSc
Alright I'm not gay. My name is Buck Naked and I'm a porno actor. (I loved Seinfeld.)

47

Phi @46, the marriage is not sexless. She describes the marriage as "probably the best relationship, sexual or otherwise, I'd ever been in" and him as "my best friend, lover, and support system for ten years." They were having sex. Whether the woman he cheated with was having sex with anyone else does not matter. Do you really think a lying cheat is going to ask a partner for an STI test before stopping condoms? And if he did, he's still fucking (a minimum of) two women without condoms. There is no monogamy in this picture. If -his- marriage were sexless, perhaps he'd get a pass (on the cheating and the non-condom using) but this is not the case; regardless of the other woman's situation, UNLESS he's strictly using condoms with DW for birth control, he should have used condoms with her. Sure, perhaps if they renegotiate an open relationship he'll observe standards of honesty and safety. And perhaps pigs will fly. So as I said, even if she chooses to trust him with her heart, she shouldn't trust him with her pussy. He loses no-condom privileges with her by sticking it bare into someone, anyone, else.

48

BDF, " He may only have had unprotected sex because she says she is in a sexless marriage and is monogamous to him."
I meant the other women could be married but only having sex with Mr D, which presents no risk for STI transmission if DW, Mr D and the other woman all have no additional partners. And minimal risk if they all have protected sex with any additional partners.

49

Phi @48, I got what you meant, then debunked it. Who cares if she wasn't having sex with anyone else? He still put his wife at risk, because she could have had herpes or genital warts from a previous relationship. It just shows he had zero respect for his wife, by making decisions that potentially affect her sexual health without involving her in those decisions.

49

Except this has taken place during covid, where all sex is unprotected and most everyone has some nonzero chance of having covid.

50

Phi @49, that too. Although we don't know whether they were still physically seeing each other during covid, or continuing the affair via video. Who knows, maybe that's how he got caught.

51

Ms Fan - You missed the point. The cheater gets all the relationship guilt (that, one might joke, Mr Savage doesn't assign to the cheatee), but that is not always all the type of guilt in the picture. Barring some sort of predatory circle in which friends are encouraged to attempt to seduce each other's partners as some sort of nasty test, deliberately setting out to steal a best friend's fiance(e) generally explodes the friendship. I've seen less extreme versions of this happen in gayland; on balance the victim has tended to be more upset over the offence against the friendship. But I'm fine with just putting this down as another block of bricks in the Great Wall of the DS/OS divide.

52

BDF, Yes, even if the other woman said that she was in a sexless marriage and clean, he has taken a risk by trusting that she has no other partners, even if she tested clean 5 years ago. Still, this is very minimal, I think it would be a much more forgivable risk than having a second fluid bonded single partner, or have unprotected sex with multiple other partners, what would disturb me more in this situation would be the possible feelings/love/obsession/compulsion for this other woman.

53

Nothing in the letter says hubby was cheating with a married woman.

54

A bit of general good news. In the wake of the recent death of Mrs Letourneau, from all I've seen her conduct towards her student-turned-husband has been called either rape or abuse. Formerly, it was not uncommon to see its being called seduction.

55

Now that it’s all out, and if this affair has been with one woman, the dynamics will shift, if the other woman knows the gig is up.
Perhaps DW, a video call between the three of you might help you decide how to deal with this.

56

@43 BiDanFan
"that person's actions would affect that friendship, but it would be irrelevant to the relationship between the spouses. Do you see that?"

After doing my best to understand venn@51, I don't think he does see that (even though you, as always, took more time to explain it [than I could as usual be bothered to @26]).

But it's not just venn. The reason I wrote @15 is that it seems very common that people not see the boundaries involved in who's doing wrong in cheating.

I think (as I wrote @15), because people treat cheating as stealing (that is, as a 'property' matter) instead of as a broken promise (that is, as breach of 'contract').

I've hoped the times I brought this up (I once even emailed Dan about this) to focus people into seeing that the blame is not with the 'other', because the 'other' had no relationship (that is, no 'contract' to breach) with the person getting cheated on.

So when venn brought up the possibility @25 that the 'other' was the best friend of the person getting cheated on, that had ZERO relevance, because the best friend couldn't breach a contract he was not party to.

(As I hoped venn would get when I wrote @26), the best friend would/could only be breaching a contract that /they/ were party to, that between the person getting cheated on and their best friend.

So the person getting cheated on was having two /separate/ contracts breached. (The best friend can't breach the /other/ contract that they weren't party to.)

I think people mix up the two, because heartbreak makes them feel like some 'property' was taken from them (even though people don't own each other so it can't be a property theft; they make promises to each other), and they want to get the (imagined) 'property' back so they don't /want/ to be angry with the cheater and misplace the anger onto the 'other'.

And then then mistakenly inflate the actual issue that the 'other' has (as I wrote @15), "the low standards/poor judgement of being with a liar", into an imagined breach of the contract they aren't party to.

57

Curious2: @56: You're confusing "blame the sidepiece and forgive your partner" with "consider the sidepiece an asshole." Doing the first is a crap idea, but doing the second is 100% accurate. There is a basic social contract all humans have to not be selfish assholes who are ok with hurting others for their own gratification. If you're knowingly helping someone cheat, you're breaking that social contract.

Accordingly, while you haven't done something as bad as the cheater, you're still an asshole, and the cheated-on person is justified in being mad at you.

Also, the cheated-on person is justified in making your life shitty if it makes them feel better. In the same way you decided that you owed them nothing if it impeded your pursuit of gratification, they can decide that they owe you nothing while they gratify their own urge for revenge or lashing out.

58

@57 Traffic
"You're confusing "blame the sidepiece and forgive your partner" with "consider the sidepiece an asshole."

No, I'm not. I think it's you (and many others) who are confused.

I think /any/ blame on the 'other' for cheating is misplaced.

And the 'other' can't stop the cheater from cheating (because there are billions of other people the cheater can cheat with, so it would do the person being cheated on no good if the 'other' exercises their only power which is to prevent the cheater from cheating with /them/). In other words there is a miniscule practical value in the 'other' not cheating, and doing wrong depends on harm occurring.

59

@58 p.s.
In other words, I think if you were to properly clarify the feeling you have that "the sidepiece an asshole", you'd find what you're really feeling is disgust that they have "the low standards/poor judgement of being with a liar". That disgust is justified, but your calling them an "asshole" for their part in the cheating is not.

60

@57 Traffic
In other words, you confused the bit about people who "blame the sidepiece and forgive your partner" as my argument, but it wasn't.

My argument (which I understand everyone, particularly those who I was hoping would 'get' it, would find boring) was all the sentences relating to the property vs. contracts analogies.

The "blame the sidepiece and forgive your partner" stuff was just to illustrate a so-well-known as to be relatable situation which not understanding my argument leads people to.

61

Already having blown way past the point of embarrassing myself with a string of comments, I want to say that I can relate to that the 'other' might /feel/ that they are contributing to/participating in the wrong. But feelings are not logical entities.

Reason tells us that the 'other' (as I wrote @58) cannot stop the cheater from cheating, so it is not the wrong of the 'other' when the cheater cheats.

62

Donny, my point was that nothing in the letter says hubby was cheating with an UNmarried woman. But you're right, too.

The letter has so few details, the only thing pretty certain is that Mr D will continue to keep seeing the other woman he's been with for 5 years, as long as she'll have him and DW doesn't tempt him away to another city.

63

I have been catching up lately with the SL comment thread, agree with many regular commenters and a few new ones joining us. Sorry, folks, I guess I don't have much to add this week.

We're getting closer to the Lucky @69 Award.......tick...tick...tick.....

64

Last l-dub... I whole heartedly support your freaky-deakiness and hope you get to incorporate your fantasy into your sex life in some form or another ASAP. Good luck!

65

@57 Retribution is bad for the soul. Better to extricate yourself and find closure and peace within. Don't become a monster because someone was monstrous to you.

66

@65 @dropout: 100% agree. I had that thought about Traffic's comment, too. Being shitty to someone else is never justified, even if they were shitty to you--not when you have the option to just walk away. And beyond questions of justification, it is, as you say, bad for your soul.

67

BDF @ 43
No sedation required. I think the sleep part in GASP's fantasy is meant be simulated if and when it is ever realized. As I see it, knowing you are being dressed up in women’s underwear and tied up while pretending to be out of it is part of the thrill. It’s about letting someone control you while you're supposedly unaware of it (and made you wear an eye mask before you "fall asleep" to make sure there is no peeking), all along wondering what they made you wear while anticipating a rude awakening by a strap on dildo slapping your face, hovering over your still “sleepy” eyes once the mask has been removed. Mmmmm

Glad to know your building is still intact.

68

Tick tick tick...

69

nocute
Noticed your post on a previous thread and wonder if it's ok to send you an email. I have some questions re fan fiction. Thanks.

70

Venn @51: "Deliberately setting out to steal a best friend's fiance(e) generally explodes the friendship." I'm not disputing that; I'm saying it doesn't matter when determining whether to blame the person who actually cheated. If my best friend sets out to "steal" my monogamous fiance(e), it is the responsibility of the fianc(e) to tell the best friend to fuck off, is it not? If they cheat and he gets busted, he can't say, "well it was Friend's fault." Friend is a shitty person, yes, but that's not the point, it's beside it. In that case, yes, you would lose both the partner and the friend. But it still does not enable anyone to blame the friend because the fiance(e) made the commitment and therefore the fiance(e) was the one who was duty bound to say no.

At any rate, there's no indication here that the cheating partner was known to DW so I'm not sure why you are pushing so hard on this issue. She didn't take the toxic-heterosexuality path of blaming the other woman, good on her, is all I'm saying.

Phi @52, I respect that our priorities differ here. I could understand and forgive having feelings for someone else. I cannot understand and forgive being selfish and deceptive with regard to STIs.

Donny @53, exactly. We know nothing about the partner. It makes no sense to jump to a benefit-of-the-doubt "well she probably didn't have sex with anyone besides this married man over a five year-period." It's unlikely to be the case and, as I keep saying, irrelevant. He cheated, he lied, he didn't use condoms. Three strikes, he's out.

Curious @56: "I think (as I wrote @15), because people treat cheating as stealing (that is, as a 'property' matter) instead of as a broken promise (that is, as breach of 'contract')." Exactly. Venn even uses the word "steal," as if the partnered person were an object to be simply spirited away, without its own agency in the matter. One cannot "steal" a person. The person makes a decision. That decision is 100% his or her responsibility. If someone is trying to interfere in an established relationship, say no, and for good measure tell your spouse what that person is up to. Don't go along with the seduction and pretend you were helpless to resist, Puh Leaze. If you really don't want to resist temptations like that, don't commit to a monogamous relationship.

Traffic @57, I agree that Curious is not confused here. We are on the same page and yes, the side piece is potentially an asshole (presuming they were aware), but whether they are asshole or angel the cheater is still 100% at fault for cheating.

Phi @62, that's not certain at all, because it's entirely possible that DW learned of the affair because the two of them broke up and Other Woman outed herself to DW as revenge.

Phil @65, I can't believe I agree with you. Yes, if you were cheated on and the other person knew it and was complicit, you might consider yourself justified in taking revenge on the other person, but that would make you petty, vindictive and immature and cost you not just the high ground but any hope of salvaging this relationship, and potentially harm your chances of any future ones. Just cut them out of your life and move on.

CMD @67, see, I knew creative minds would carry the day here. :)

71

Ms Fan/Mr Curious - That's the whole point. It didn't apply to this letter, as LW and the third party had no relationship. In the hypothetical, the cheater and not the poacher gets the blame for exploding the relationship; the poacher and not the cheater gets the blame for exploding the friendship. They are separate calculations, as I said at the beginning. Often, as in this case, the third is irrelevant.

Mr C, it's just all part of the Great Divide. But surely you wouldn't want me on your team anyway, any more than Ms Fan, Mx Wanna or M?? Harriet would.

72

Ms Fan - By the way, that was a most interesting take that blaming the other woman is toxic heterosexuality rather than toxic femininity. A bit Holmes/Sun/Earth for me, but that might be a winnable brief if argued with skill.

73

My prior would be that a lesbian in a LTR, LT monogamous R, who says 'I want to explore having sex with someone else' is more likely to be saying, 'I want to break up' than almost anyone else, anyone of any other couple status, orientation or gender designation. To some degree, I guess this is a prejudice ... but it comes from somewhere, right? It comes from some acquaintance with lesbians, some exposure to lesbian, or maybe more accurately (as far as my social circle goes) predominantly lesbian but heteroflexible culture.... The narrow advice I'd give to CUCKGIRL is to follow her partner's lead--if her partner wants to imagine her, CUCKGIRL, sleeping with someone else, try it out and see if it's sexy or you can make it sexy for her ... if she wants to imagine fucking another person herself, see if there's some way you can enter into the story that's affirming and does something for your relationship. The broader advice is to find out whether there's anything else at the bottom of the urge to cuck.

I think things are bad for DW, even with her therapy. The problem is that she has experienced her 10 year-long relationship with her husband in so thoroughly a different way to him. She's experienced something near-'perfect', then found out much of it rested on a lie. For him, it's been a matter of enjoying whatever he did enjoy in his relationship with her, and persistently, connivingly cheating. I guess she should try to find out what everything was like for him. Did he think that his cheating kept their marriage together? Did (in his mind) he go to his mistress, or other lovers, because there were things he couldn't get from her? Did he care about his other lover(s)? She seems to have seen him as a good husband; did he see her as good, satisfactory, barely passable? Does he regret cheating, and in what way?

She's nowhere near this level of understanding yet, and it would seem to me she's reluctant to engage with what he's really like, and what their relationship was like for him. She's, instead, at the level of 'once a cheater, always a cheater'. But cheating wasn't something he did once, or did casually. Their relationship wasn't as she supposed, while he was a one-off, an errant or lapsing cheater--someone who cheated once, someone with a disposition to yield to temptation. The relationship was one where he cheated. This is about the relationship; it is about her, as well as about him. (This is, of course, not to say that she has any part of the 'blame' for his lying to her so persistently). Why did he cheat?

74

@69: Sure, CMD. But I know absolutely nothing about the subject.

75

@71 venn
Yes, I see that right away @10 you said "are better considered separately as independent issues".

As for who said what since, I don't remember. If as you imply I mischaracterized your position (which I am happy to assume instead of re-reading a bunch of Comments), I'm sorry I didn't pay better attention.

"Mr C, it's just all part of the Great Divide. But surely you wouldn't want me on your team anyway, any more than Ms Fan, Mx Wanna or M?? Harriet would."

LOL.

First, I have no idea what "Great Divide" you're talking about and what the "it" is in "it's just all part of".

But what I do know is I recoil at being "Mr C" in my discussions with you. Not because I don't deserve to be stained with my various identity group privileges. But because you repetitively do it every single damn time you address anyone, because of your fundamental attraction towards there being different teams everyone must be on. I do not wish every statement I make to be considered to be from the perspective of someone on any particular team; I aspire, and I believe I can, be more open-minded than that.

(And for all you like to play otherwise, I know you can be and are too.)
(Do you really have to "Mr" me /every/ single post, even multiple times in the same thread? Surely everyone you want to think of me as on a 'team' will remember if you say it a little less. How much turnover do you think we have, anyway?)

But I've asked too many times to be simply addressed as "curious", I can't stomach asking ever again. But since you asked I just wanted to again say I feel it is very rude (regardless of your couching it as 'formal' politeness).

And as long as I'm wound up I'll also repeat for the X'th time that I absolutely wince at the rudeness of addressing that other person here as "M?? Harriet" (despite being myself irritated at being expected to pick pronouns /for/ Harriet which I utterly refuse to do and so have ended up using the word "Harriet" dozens of times in a single paragraph back when Harriet and I spoke).

76

@36. Erica. You said the closest to what I would say to DW. By 'obey' I didn't take you as saying anything particularly strong, or necessarily stronger than 'follow the line of'.

@71. venn. Of course I'd want you on my team. I see us as both queer. That we have / had sex in different ways, and possibly in the context of different relationship styles, means no more to me than e.g. that I like cooking and you like bridge.

77

I don't see 'M?? Harriet' as rude. It's creative.

78

@curious2 #75: Mr. Ven has said that his insistence on addressing everyone with an honorific is an homage to the late Quentin Crisp, whom he got to meet and who always used them.
I find him to be very adaptable and creative with them. He uses "Mx" with CMD, and Harriet doesn't appear to object to "M??."

I suggest that rather than seeing his insistence on using an honorific with you as being a deliberate insult to you, you consider that you (and I and everyone else here) are somewhat beside the point: this gesture is between Mr. Ven and Mr. Crisp.

Though there is something to be said for respecting someone's stated (and repeatedly stated) request to be addressed a particular way or not addressed a particular way. In a way, it could be akin to misgendering a transperson or using someone's dead name.

So Mr. Ven: curious2 really, Really, REALLY hates your using an honorific when you address him. Perhaps you could pass on the practice for his sake, when addressing or referring to him.

79

@curious: Do you see the appellation "Mr." as placing you on a team?
I think it just means that you identify as male. Which I suppose is a team, but it's a pretty big team then, without a lot of shared values or opinions, just gender.
I'm fine with being addressed as "Ms.," which puts me on the same "team" as all other women, though I hardly share a viewpoint with millions of them.

There may, in fact, be teams. But I don't think that being part of Team Male or Team Female (or Team Non-Binary or Team Undecided or Team Depends-On-The-Day) means very much.

80

@69 WA-HOOOOOOO!!!!!! Big congrats to CMDwannabe on scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award! Savor the luscious honors found only here in Savage Love Land. :)
@68 fubar: WA-HOOOOOOOOO!!!! I am awarding you a Lucky @69 Lead-in Award for setting up CMD's numeric victory. Cheers, and may continued good fortune be yours. :)

WOW------are we really this close to the Big Hunsky already? Tick...tick...tick...

Here I am, sitting here proudly wearing my DTMFA tank top with no bra underneath. And interestingly, no consequential back pain, either. Hopefully this new pain alleviation lasts. :)

81

Grizelda goes braless! Who knew?

82

We are all on team human.

83

Venn @71: sheesh, now you're arguing my side?? "LW and the third party had no relationship." Again, this is another of the many things we don't know about this situation. Perhaps DW and the affair partner knew each other, perhaps they did not. DW does not say. All we know is that he's the one who cheated and he's the one who's getting the blame, which is as it should be. (And if I'd know that minor side point would have generated this much controversy, I would have kept as quiet as Skeptic @6 should have done.)

Great Divide? Now you're sounding like Hunter, which is never a good look. All humans have feelings, and anyone would be hurt by a partner betraying them, so I don't know where any possible divide would be. (Interestingly, I am seeing a Minor Divide between Team Monogamous, as represented by Philophile, who take a more laissez-faire approach to condoms because they are generally only having sex with one person and see the biggest element of betrayal in the husband's potentially catching feelings for their co-cheater, and Team Ethically Non-Monogamous, who not only forgive but expect the catching of feelings in any sort of ongoing relationship but see the unsafe sex as the ultimate betrayal of relationship principles.)

Also, not sure how you're assigning a bisexual to one team or the other. Unless you mean the teams are Male and Female? Perhaps I'm on Team Excessive Parentheses. ;)

84

nocute @78: "Mr. Ven has said that his insistence on addressing everyone with an honorific is an homage to the late Quentin Crisp".

I did not know that.

I read The Naked Civil Servant when I was a young teen. I realized recently that it was probably that book that inoculated me against 1970s British homophobia.

85

BDF, You missed a part of @62 "as long as she'll have him", so it looks like we may agree there..

And although I did say that I would be more concerned about the feelings than STIs, if I found out my husband had another bareback lover for 5 years, I neglected to say that I don't think I'd have such a problem with the situation if it was done honestly. In other words, it's the lying about feelings that would bug me the most. Not because I might catch an STI, and I think I could even deal with raising another woman's child, I'm pretty open minded about blended families. The big problem I'd have if I discovered my partner had been lying about this sort of situation is that I wouldn't necessarily know if my partner had another child, and I couldn't trust him to predict his actions well in general which would make planning for the future harder, I couldn't trust him to tell me about his feelings, and I'm not sure how well I'd be able to trust that he loved me after that. Also it would be hard to treat him with respect after being subject to years of dishonesty about something important to me. I guess I wouldn't care so much about STIs because that problem is easier to solve.. get tested, find a different lover for awhile, and use condoms with my partner when we could be intimate again, or else get tested regularly.

86

BDF, I misread you.. If Mr D broke off the affair, then there is some hope that he is starting to value monogamy, or at least not in love with anyone besides DW at this point. I'd still be worried that he might have surprise kids or hidden kids with someone, but there's a greater chance they have common ground and can both prioritize the marriage if he broke it off, possibly they can reasonably discuss what went wrong and how to do it better, maybe they can build a monogamous marriage. In any other case, there's no way she can reasonably trust him to be monogamous, IMO.

87

@78 nocutename
Hi nocute!

"Mr. Ven has said that his insistence on addressing everyone with an honorific is an homage to the late Quentin Crisp, whom he got to meet and who always used them."

That's interesting. Did Quentin used an honorific /every/ time he addressed someone during a discussion? That does sound charming and quaint.
I have been here a couple years, and in that time venn had made /different/ explanations, so this makes me question both those explanations /and/ the Quentin-Crisp-explanation.

"Harriet doesn't appear to object to "M??.""

I'm very glad Harriet doesn't. (Though I would note that just because Harriet doesn't think it's rude doesn't mean is isn't, it could just be an artifact of Harriet's thinking being--in my view--randomly irrational.)

The ?? seems to me an emblem of venn's burning desire to identify people so venn may divide them. I'm not saying I don't want to celebrate people's differences, I'm just saying that I think venn generally takes it to an unconstructive extreme, which to my ear his honorifics simply celebrate. (Which is I've felt is the real explanation, whatever explanations venn chooses to give at different times.)

@79 nocutename
"Do you see the appellation "Mr." as placing you on a team?"

Not from anyone else I wouldn't. It's only venn's play of division that makes it mean that from him.

(I feel like this has been coming off too harshly. I honor venn's somewhat pessimistic concerns about gay men's rights and very existence, and apologize to him for the grave wrongs inflicted upon his life. It's just that he is so much more focused on that than on, and acts like he can't understand, other constituencies. Which implies that other constituencies can't understand his. While I can't fully relate, I think everyone has more in common than they are different.)

What if I were a feminist activist taking part in some discussion with other activists? (Yeah, there's no reason they would benefit from me being there, but let's pretend for a moment I had something to contribute and that nearly all of them were happy to have me working with them.) Let's say that after every time I made a contribution to the discussion, one particular fellow activist used the prefix "Mr.". If they did it only when I deserved to be reminded I wasn't a woman so I couldn't fully relate, that would be appropriate. But if they used it even when I made logistical suggestions, it could be a message that I simply wasn't wanted there by that person.

"I don't think that being part of Team Male or Team Female...means very much."

I just realized (it frequently takes eons for things to dawn on me) that the reason it bugs me /here/ I think, is that this is a place where Sportlandia and Hunter have routinely inflamed Gender Wars. But come to think of it, now that these are fading from memory, and hopefully never to recur, I will hopefully have little reason to dislike being placed on a 'side' in them.

And it frankly (and thankfully) has been almost long enough since our last Gender War, that I think my feeling of offense to being gendered by venn is faded enough that it is a mere artifact now too.

So please go ahead and gender me, venn. As long as we aren't having Gender Wars here I'm not feeling like "Mr." places me on the wrong 'team' in them (since those wars aren't occurring).

88

Phi @85, I think where Team Monogamous and Team Ethically Non-Monogamous agree is that the lying is the worst part of this situation. As someone on Team ENM, if my partner were in another relationship, and neither I nor that person had any other partners, if said partner wanted to negotiate an agreement to not have to use condoms with either of us, that might be a reasonable path to take. But as you say, that would have to be openly negotiated among everyone involved, not decided unilaterally without input from the primary partner as to whether they are OK with that level of risk. You're correct as well that STIs are not the only risk from hetero condomless sex; she should be aware that her partner is risking fathering a child. Again, it's the deception involved, the taking away of her right to decide whether she wants to risk STIs and/or stepmotherhood. And indeed, I could not respect someone who took that choice away from me.

Phi @86, yes, that's another of the many possibilities here. He had some sort of epiphany, broke off the affair, confessed, and is promising to sin no more. (I doubt it, though; confessing an affair would not obligate someone to prove it by showing a video.)

89

The things that might help me forgive Mr D if I were DW, are if he chose an affair partner who was married, if she claimed a sexless marriage that would be slightly better I think, this would help alleviate my fears of both STIs and child support. It would help a lot if she claimed she was infertile too. Although a single woman who claimed to be infertile would hurt the case that he was shrewdly attempting to look out for my interests, I'd judge him to be naive as well as dishonest.. If he could grow enough self awareness and honesty to explain what went wrong and had some reasonable sounding plan of what he was trying to be monogamous, that might help me to respect him.. Or in turn if he were honest enough to say that he needed an open relationship, but he hated sneaking around, so he wanted to be ethical about it if that's something I could handle, or leave apologetically without shaming or blaming me.. that would help me to respect him again..

These things don't happen in a vacuum. I think it would be very good for her to talk to her husband a lot about this before divorcing, if she decides to leave. I don't want to blame the victim, I don't see the point in blame, but I see a lot of value in figuring out why I'm badly surprised, when it happens, and making sure I get more realistic so it doesn't happen again.

I see three possible cases. He might have cheated because he thought it was normal for men and has really screwed up, hypocritical ideas about gender roles. He might have cheated because he thought it was normal for people, learning about ENM might help him understand his mistake. He might have cheated because he wasn't happy yet couldn't bring himself to divorce. He either thought it was ok for him, ok for them, or knew it was wrong but it felt ok like revenge can feel ok, respectively. She can help make sure she doesn't commit to a similar man in the future by testing his ideas of gender roles, or testing his ideas of open relationships, or choosing a man who is more open about conflicts and his anger or disappointment and never justifies hurting her or blaming others, respectively.

90

BDF, Yes, I don't think he confessed the affair, but as you said, he may have broken it off but DW was alerted by the other woman. Still, seems to be the best case if DW wants monogamy and can forgive him. I think it might be possible if he had already decided to be monogamous and started acting like it.. although I still wouldn't trust him very far at this point..

91

I want to be on Team ENM too. Pick me!

92

Philo, I'd like to add a fourth possibility: He might have cheated because he met someone else who he fell hard for, and, like almost everyone in our very monogamy-centric society, he didn't have the emotional background to talk to his wife about it, so he allowed himself to fall into an affair.

Everyone here is acting like all cheating is done by assholes, and although I think there are people who cheat all the time for the hell of it, who are assholes, and I think cheating is an asshole move, in my life and with the people I know, a lot of the cheating I'm aware of was done by people who loved their partners and for whatever reason ended up needing something else or loving someone else, too. I guess I may have a super biased sample set; maybe that's why I'm so strongly in favor of more discussion of ENM.

93

BiDan@83~ Go Team ((((((((((((((((((((((((((Excessive Parentheses)))))))))))))))))))))))

94

Ciods, That's my third case, ethical cowardice, how about if I write it like: "He might have cheated because he wasn't happy with their particular monogamous marriage yet couldn't bring himself to divorce."

95

"He might have cheated because he wasn't happy with their particular monogamous marriage yet couldn't bring himself to be honest about his problems and work on them or to divorce."

96

Ah, okay. I guess to me, cheating doesn't always mean someone was unhappy in the marriage. At least, not to start, although it usually gets you there pretty fast...

97

Ciods @96, I agree that cheating doesn't necessarily mean something was wrong with the relationship; it could mean that someone is naturally polyamorous but too chickenshit to negotiate that as part of their relationship. Certainly, whether the DWs want to stay together, they should look at the how and why of the cheating. Was there something he wasn't getting from DW? (Again, not to blame her; it was his responsibility to address this with her, not go seek it dishonestly elsewhere, but this could help heal their relationship or at least help her know herself better going into her next one.) Or did he just meet someone and fall in love? If DW wants to be in a non-monogamous relationship, where she too can benefit from seeing other people, and Mr DW is suitably contrite about his errors, they could try it; they don't seem to have much to lose.

98

Case 2 and case 3 can be hard to tell apart.. whether a guy was cheating because he was ok with some extramarital sex by both of them and thought discretion was polite, or because he was blaming his wife for not being good enough for him to stay exclusively in love or lust with her. I think she maybe can tell even if she doesn't sleep around, by how accepting he is of her male friends and sexuality and sexual interests in general, but she should already have a lot of indication by observing whether he tends to blame others for his mistakes and justify them, or whether he has more of a tendency to try to take care of his problems in a way she likes, without bothering her.

Ciods@96, I agree, in the cases where he thinks 1) it's ok for him, or 2) ok for them, he might have considered his cheating to be part of a good happy marriage. If he 3) thinks it's not ok but justified by circumstances, that means he's justifying it by nursing some grudge or unhappiness. He's either happily hypocritical, confused about nonmonogamy ethics but happy, or was secretly unhappy (that she needed monogamy, that she burned his toast, or whatever) but making himself happy with general revenge "ethics", which are not really ethical. Although people who condone revenge think it's ethical, it's actually a general excuse for unethical behavior (Traffic Spiral gave an example this week: "the cheated-on person is justified in making your life shitty if it makes them feel better").

99

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