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Will he cheat?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 21, 2009 10:33 AM

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Q: Love your column Meredith and all the differing, yet fitting comments...
I have a problem that I've never seen addressed in this column. My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 5 months, and not too long ago we were discussing past relationships, what went wrong, what we didn't like (i.e. what we don't want to happen again in our relationship,) etc. I was hurt pretty badly in my last long term relationship because I was cheated on. So it came up that my boyfriend had cheated on a previous girlfriend, and I can't help but raise the red flag on this issue. He said he had other long term relationships, including a marriage, where he didn't cheat before this one where he did. Now, I have never cheated. But that's not to say that I'm proud of everything I've done in all my relationships -- I realize that we all have things in our past we're not proud of. But, I do not understand when other people cheat. While I really do appreciate his brutal honesty (I didn't directly ask the question, it just came out in conversation while drinking a bit) because I know a lot of people would just lie and say they never had, it really makes me hesitant and nervous to get seriously involved with him. He said he did it because he was unsatisfied in the passion department, and he felt stuck in the relationship at that moment. I would never, ever peg him as a cheater, and I don't have any concerns right now that he is doing that, but I can't help but wonder ... am I being judgmental and/or unfair in holding this against him when it had nothing to do with me, or am I being reasonable to assume that a leopard can't change his spots?

I'd really appreciate your advice, as well as any comments from readers who have cheated on someone before and then gone the straight and narrow with a subsequent relationship...

-- Wary in Ware

A: WIW, I’d take it as a good sign that a) he told you about his past and b) he seems to understand why the cheating was wrong. And my guess is that his cheat happened a long time ago.

There are a million ways people screw up relationships. They watch too much TV. They keep their opinions to themselves. They withhold physical or emotional intimacy. They get overly critical. Cheating gets the most attention because it’s sexy – and because it’s easy to identify who’s to blame.

You can obsess about all of the ways this good relationship might go wrong – or, you can trust that you both want this to work.

To answer your most basic question, there are a variety of reasons people cheat. Those reasons are always unique and complicated. I’m sure readers will agree – there’s often no rhyme or reason.

What you’re not allowed to do is punish this person for something he did years ago. My advice: stop preparing yourself for disaster. This admission isn’t a red flag -- it’s a tiny yellow flag. He probably has a few of those about you, too.

Readers? How can she forgive his past? Share here. Sign up for annoying Twitter updates here. Read yesterday’s chat here. Submit a letter to the right.

-- Meredith

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130 comments so far...
  1. I think instead of focusing on a potential disaster, you should use the conversation as a stepping stone to build more trust and open conversation with him. The more open your conversation becomes, the closer you can get to a deep relationship based on honesty - which leads to trust.

    I would also explore why you are so worried about someone potentially cheating on you - or why you would single out that characteristic as a potential deal breaker. Just because you haven't/wouldn't do it doesn't mean he had reasons for his past actions and/or can't learn from them. I think your concern speaks more volumes about you than it does him. Think about that....

    Posted by spaceman May 21, 09 10:57 AM
  1. WIW, as Meredith said, you can't punish him for the past. Don't let his past pecadillo mess up your present relationship. "Dear Prudence" dealt with this same issue in her column today on Slate. The LW had let herself go crazy over it(much more than you seem to have). Check it out. As Meredith also wisely points out, there are a million things one can do to mess up. It's not worth it to waste your energy on this hypothetical.

    Posted by Jen-X May 21, 09 10:59 AM
  1. Yes, you are being unfair in holding this against him. In my opinion, if he had cheated on YOU, then it’s a automatic red flag. However, his cheating on some one else long ago is, as Meredith pointed out, a yellow flag. His honesty (although I don’t particularly care for the fact that it came out “while drinking a bit”) does make the flag a little smaller.

    All of us have to periodically examine our relationships. Are there red flags? Yellow flags? How many? If this is one of many yellow flags (he stares at co-workers, he previously started dating someone seriously within weeks of his wife telling him that she wanted a divorce, he gets text messages referencing a ‘butt show’, etc.) that in total, make you wonder about your future with this person, then it’s time for an honest discussion with him about your concerns and where you go from here. If your relationship with him is very good, then I would not worry about it, I would not hold it against him, and I would not let it keep things from moving to what you call serious involvement.

    FWIW, I suspect that there are other issues that are causing you doubt, but you are pushing this to the forefront.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss May 21, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Some people just have that tendency to cheat. And once they do it its easier for them to justify it and do it again. You need to keep that in mind.

    However this guy is being up front and honest with you which is a good sign. I wouldn't end the relationship based on the past cheat. But for me personally if I found out a partner cheated on someone in a previous relationship I would always be on a higher alert. I would probably fixate on it. Not the best thing in the world to do but I just know too many guys who cheat all the time and I would be paranoid! Good luck.

    Posted by John May 21, 09 11:18 AM
  1. I cheated at the end of a long relationship. I am not proud of it and I would not usually admit it . The fact that he admited it to you shows that this is not his normal perogitive and he wants to be honest with you so it doesnt boil up later. My infedelity was a result of a festering of unhappiness and the act was the final and most concrete reason why I could no longer stay with that person. In retrospect I was creating an easy-out for myself. I regret hurting this person and have learned my lesson that there is no easy out of a relationship. It sounds like you have a good guy so just enjoy him and your life together becouse that's what really matters.

    Posted by capecodda May 21, 09 11:19 AM
  1. Rico is going to keep it short today as he has things this afternoon to tend to more important:

    Rico thinks just as Meredith said you can't hold against him what he did in his past before meeting you. However, Rico doesn't care for cheaters, never has and never will. While Rico isn't sure a leopard can't change its spots it is a great sign that he has been honest with you about his past cheating. Maybe it is his way of hinting at things you need to do better in the relationship to help him be better at not cheating again? Rico doesn't know what his thinking is but he does know that the fact you had this conversation is a very good thing. He wants things to work as do you which is why the conversation happened at all.

    Meredith is wrong about one thing, "stop preparing yourself for disaster". Rico thinks you should always be prepared for worst case scenario but don't let that put a hinderance on making the relationship work. Yes, he probably has some worries about you, that is what the dating process is for. Rico feels you are on a good track for a successful relationship and hopes you will continue that way. Make time for each other and for each others friends and family, get outside and enjoy life together, have a picnic, be spontaneous, love each other, hug (HUG A LOT), support each other, talk, travel, etc...

    Rico is off to bike and enjoy this afternoon outside, Rico hopes you all have a great day and he'll talk to you more tomorrow...

    Love always,

    Rico

    Bike's Rule, Gears not Gas


    Posted by Rico May 21, 09 11:19 AM
  1. Wary,

    I know I'm opening myself up for Rico to hate me (Rico hates cheaters!!) but I used to be an unrepentant cheater. I cheated on my college boyfriend, with his knowledge and without. I cheated on my first serious boyfriend post-college, twice, each time carrying out a rather protracted affair, never considering the consequences or that I was hurting him. I dissociated my actions from my relationship and my boyfriend. I reasoned that one had nothing to do with the other. Oh, I was also *extremely* messed up about relationships and wasn't ready for commitment, if you can't tell...

    Your boyfriend sounds like he cheated for much more understandable (not great, but understandable) reasons, and he's being honest. Basically, I'm telling you: I was the worst kind of cheater ever. I just didn't give a #$%# about my partner's feelings, time and time again. Your boyfriend sounds far better than I used to be, and guess what? I haven't cheated on anyone I've dated in years. I've totally changed the way I see partnerships and monogamy and I care so deeply about my partner's feelings that I could never hurt him like that. I'd sooner leave the relationship.

    I was honest with my current partner and I told him about the painful process that led me to change my ways. If my current partner hadn't given me a chance because of my honesty, and punished me by never trusting me today, that would be unfair. If your boyfriend said he never learned anything and didn't really see anything wrong with what he did, that is a different story.

    In sum, and sorry for the novel: 'once a cheater always a cheater' is only true when the cheater hasn't learned anything from it. Give this guy a chance.

    p.s. To tricia from yesterday's chat -- drop this guy. Your account of what he's doing to you made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. 6 months of love and fun and being good to you don't count for ANYTHING if he's making you apologize for who you are. I dated a guy like this, and he is a control freak, period, and you're in for a lot of hurt if you keep trying to make him stay with you. Don't let him make you feel bad about yourself. The only thing you'll have done wrong here is if you keep him around. Please believe me.

    Posted by Penelope May 21, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Sorry to keep yapping but I also wanted to say I think Meredith is spot-on.

    Here are some helpful words from another advice columnist:

    Getting burned is a top justification for indulging every jealous, controlling, paranoid urge people get when starting a new relationship. So here's how you'll know when you're ready to be someone's partner for real: when you realize the way to keep someone is to drop those defenses completely. (Carolyn Hax)

    Posted by Penelope May 21, 09 11:23 AM
  1. Absolutely Meredith. I can also speak from experience. I cheated on my college girlfriend… I was disrespectful, ashamed and didn’t deserve this great girl. No excuse- I was an a*hole. Fast forward 4 years to my current girlfriend today (of about 3 years). This also came up in conversation. She responded as Meredith said “a yellow flag.” She didn’t punish me for something I did years before. Needless to say I was ashamed and embarrassed but honest.

    All I can tell you is that people act differently in different relationships. I didn’t respect and love my ex the way I do my current girlfriend. I could never think of cheating and hurting someone I love again… I learned a lot from the pain I caused. And I like to think I’ve come out a better person. Many people here will tell you “once a cheater always a cheater” ultimately it is your choice to believe this or not…

    Posted by yep May 21, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Can there be a day without constant bike propaganda? As I've said before, if you like tooling around on your Huffy, that's fine with me. Go ahead and stick baseball cards in the spokes and pedal yourself silly, but stop including it in a relationships forum. It's proof of your inflated ego, control, and neediness issues that we've been working on in couples therapy..

    Posted by Rico's wife May 21, 09 11:35 AM
  1. I dont think there is anything to hold against him...he made a mistake and is being honest about it.
    The only thing to really worry about it you not making yourself crazy thinking that he's cheating...if you can't get ahold of him, if you don't know where he is, or if he's late. If you aren't secure with yourself or the relationship, then this will always be in the back of your head, and you might sabotage the relationship without meaning to. Make sure that this is something you're not going to hold against him, since it didn't have anything to do with you, or your relationship.

    also...this one is going to be a big one for Rico...since we all know about how much he loves cheaters....the only one more tailor made for him would be if someone wrote in complaining that their boyfriend was always out riding his bike instead of her.

    Posted by sm1231 May 21, 09 11:41 AM
  1. Thanks Penelope. What painful process led you to change your ways?

    Posted by Tricia May 21, 09 11:49 AM
  1. Keep the lines of communication open with this guy. He seems genuinely nice and his honesty is to his credit . I wouldn't hold a past indescretion against him. We all make mistakes, but it's those of us who realize the mistakes we made, and have taken the time to review the old behavior patterns which got us there, are all the wiser for it.
    Keep your antenna up and as always, trust but verify.
    Best of luck to you.

    Posted by exvermonter May 21, 09 11:50 AM
  1. There are no guaranteess in life. People have the capability to do most anything to anyone (just read the news). That said, look at the whole picture, take stock in the entire relationship, and make you decisions on that, not just one isolated incident from years ago. (Another alternative is to tell him if you ever find out he cheated on you, you will cut his ba**s off).

    Posted by Simon Says May 21, 09 11:50 AM
  1. Wary - keep this information in the back of your mind, but don't dote on it. His honestly about his past is a positive sign that he wants you to be open and trusting. Stay in this relationship as long as you are happy in it - with ears and eyes open.

    Posted by chloe May 21, 09 12:06 PM
  1. First of all, it’s not your responsibility to forgive his past
    Don’t predetermine his behavior because he has admitted this mistake. He is willing to share with you negative aspects of his past behavior – that’s good. Remember the phrase Actions not Words…keep a clean conscience within, as best as you can, and let time take its course regarding the relations. Regarding the colorful, symbolic flag reference; red and yellow and green or blue. Don’t raise the white one just because of past transgressions – be vigilant in your pursuit as well as watchful.

    I've cheated and been cheated on - a very distasteful situation when standing in either shoe. I cheated because – well there are many underlying reasons – but in the aftermath of the experience I realized, to a certain extent that I was insecure, I was immature, and I was troubled inside. I took ownership, eventually, of full responsibility but it’s never easy to handle and deal with ones disturbed inner self.

    Raise the green flag of “new experience and hope” – in honor of Ms. Rico – I’ll choose the color green and what it stands for in these times of recycling and renewal.

    I’ll take it a step up Ms. Rico
    Recycle and Bicycle power!!!

    Posted by TwoCents May 21, 09 12:20 PM
  1. Relationships are like a job: You are always subject to progress reports, reviews, promotions, layoffs and pink slips. Both people are employees, so it behooves each to do their very best, improve in the areas which are lacking and make themselves generally indispensable. In your BF’s case, there was a time when his XGF acted like shellac in the sack. Remember how chemistry keeps coming up as a vital part of your stay on Lovetron? I’m sure he’s not proud of the cheat, but it helped him to see that round pegs don’t fit in square holes. In some fantastic way, he did it for you. Remember, the relationship is only good if it’s good for both of you. We don’t own each other, we don’t want to buy it…just want to rent it for an hour or two (WLAFA). If he were to cheat, it would indicate that something was wrong in the relationship. It’s your JOB to keep the passion in fashion in Ware. Focus on your relationship; not the dry noodle from bedposts past.

    Posted by valentino May 21, 09 12:28 PM
  1. I don't think you need to worry about him cheating; instead, you should worry about creating the conditions in the relationship that led him to cheat in his past, which he has identified ("He said he did it because he was unsatisfied in the passion department, and he felt stuck in the relationship at that moment.") So, basically, do not neglect the elements of passion and communication in your relationship (of course, easier said than done) and it seems like you should be quite happy together... Best of luck!

    Posted by k May 21, 09 12:33 PM
  1. All I had to do was read the title. Answer? Yes.

    Posted by Anonymous May 21, 09 12:38 PM
  1. "He said he did it because he was unsatisfied in the passion department, and he felt stuck in the relationship at that moment"
    This is a line of bull
    "I would never, ever peg him as a cheater"
    you obviously need to reassess how YOU asses people
    Stay with him and you'll get what you deserve. What's his new excuse gonna be?
    Let me guess, he's so cute and he's tall......... Come on everyone lets get real, people put up with garbage from others because of aesthetics, or fear of being alone.
    When someone tells you something like that theyre testing how much of a fish you are.

    Posted by toldyouso May 21, 09 12:40 PM
  1. Here's the issue: he was honest with you, which is a good thing and indicates openness and trust-building. If you punish him for it instead of rewarding him, then maybe you are not ready for a serious relationship and/or don't place a high value on honesty/truth yourself. And that would be a reason why men (and people) lie to their partners or hide certain aspects - because they know that others are not ready to deal with truth and honesty, and that being truthful and honest is punished. Which is a sad commentary on human condition, our society and relationships, and the low premium we place on being honest and truthful.

    Yes, it may freak me out a bit if my g/f mentioned that she cheated in the past, and *didn't* mention that she acknowledged it as a mistake and learned from it. But if there was an acknowledgment of realizing a past mistake, in my books, that's positive.

    Posted by TheDude May 21, 09 12:53 PM
  1. Cheating is not the equivalent of "high crimes and misdemeanors" - human romantic relations are complex and cheating can happen for any number of reasons - Just saying for many cheaters, there are often two sides to the story. (Most are not "serial" cheaters, which are comparatively in fewer numbers.)

    His past should not spell a death sentence to your current relationship. Be glad that he was honest with you and don't worry about it.

    Posted by Bob May 21, 09 12:53 PM
  1. Ive been on both sides of the fence and I can tell you it feels ten times worse to cheat on someone then be cheated on.

    Meredith is spot on with this one. What you should really be acknowledging here is his honesty, understanding, communication and assumed growth from the experience. Those are the things he is bringing forth in your discussion not his potential capacity to be unfaithful. Anyone can cheat on their lover but few learn from the experience.

    Personally, Id risk a broken heart over a missed opportunity any day. If he cheats on you, you'll eventually get over it. You walk away from "what might have been" and you'll never forgive yourself.

    Posted by jdub May 21, 09 12:57 PM
  1. Just be secure and confident in this relationship so your fear doesn't turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. As somebody else mentioned...if everytime he's late and you don't know where he is if you freak out that will just drive him away. The fact that he came clean about this means he learned from it. Without learning from previous relationships he wouldn't be the man he is today. You've only known him for a few months so just continue to get to know him better and see where this relationship can go. If you find yourself constantly doubting him and you're paranoid, that is your problem and something you will have to work on (which is understandable if you've been cheated on). He may never cheat again but the combination of a former cheater and somebody who has been cheated on may not be the most stable. Regardless, don't hold this conversation against him. If you prematurely punish him for something he did to somebody else he may shut down and stop being open and honest with you.

    Posted by RP May 21, 09 12:57 PM
  1. Toldyouso is exactly right. MEREDITH - where exactly does it say he feels it was wrong??? AND, he told her while drinking. He never said he felt it was wrong, he justified it by saying he was unsatisfied in the passion department and felt stuck in the relationship at the moment. SO....he decided cheating would be a good solution? He WILL cheat again, using any excuse he feels like to blame YOU for his actions. He is not a man, he is a boy. Run, don't walk.

    Posted by jp May 21, 09 12:58 PM
  1. Tuck it away-try to relax-this relationship is just beginning.
    I wonder about your age/his age. If he has been married etc. my guess is your are more mature?

    Enjoy each other and go with the flow. Time will tell.

    Valentino-you crack me up-and nice taste in music.

    Posted by pb May 21, 09 01:01 PM
  1. Tricia, thanks for asking, and thanks for considering my warning. I know it's hard to let someone go... but he sounds like a dangerous schmuck to me.

    The painful process began when my ex dumped me for all the cheating -- rightfully so, of course. Whoa, I thought, actions have consequences. It hadn't sunk in until then. I was really shaken up, and realized I had to change for that never to happen again. The change included figuring out why I'd cheated in the first place, because I honestly didn't know at the time. Then I had to learn what it was I wanted from a relationship. Only then was I ready to commit and try over again with someone new.

    Some of this processing may have taken place under the guidance of a paid professional :)

    Posted by Penelope May 21, 09 01:03 PM
  1. I Cheated on a previous girlfriend a few times with other girls, now I think the degree of cheating should be considered. I never slept with anyone else while with her but it wasn't just holding hands either. Looking back, I cheated because I was unhappy in the relationship and not in love with her, not because of anything she lacked in the bedroom. I accept full responsibility for what I did, I've now been married for many years and am so in love with my wife that I could never even imagine cheating on her. My advice to you would be to look at your own relationship with him and make sure that you are both happy. Remember that comfort does not equal happiness.

    Posted by BannedinBoston May 21, 09 01:03 PM
  1. Yes, you are being judgmental and unfair. He didn't cheat on you and until something like that happens you have no reason to hold it against him. If you hold this against him, he'll never be honest with you about anything else. Think about how you would feel if the tables were turned - you were completely honest with him about something you did that you weren't proud of and he broke up with you or constantly brought it up? How do you know that during that conversation you didn't raise some flag about you in his head and he just hasn't said anything? You're particularly sensitive to the issue of cheating because it was done to you, but you can't let that get in the way of a relationship with someone who hasn't done anything wrong to you.

    Posted by bumbly-bee May 21, 09 01:04 PM
  1. Absolutely DUMP HIM!!

    1) People never learn from, nor correct, their past mistakes in an effort to better themselves... NEVER!

    B) He offered up this information to you unprovoked, rather than keeping it an easy secret. That can obviously only mean that he has already cheated on you and plans to cheat on you again next weekend. Otherwise, why would he raise it??

    $) Men pretty much NEVER cheat. So with so many sure-fire guaranteed non-cheaters out there, why waste your time with a "convicted criminal"?

    Go get yourself another man who is absolutely GUARANTEED not to cheat on you! Look, he's right over there!!! See him???

    Yeah, of course you do...........

    Posted by DJMcG May 21, 09 01:05 PM
  1. No relationships come with a guarantee. Stop making such a big deal out of someone elses past mistake. Let it go and enjoy the relationship before you start tearing it apart for reasons unfounded. If you obsess you will do just that.

    Pam

    Posted by Pam May 21, 09 01:09 PM
  1. Exvermonter-
    Trust, but verify? I feel like we're back in the Cold War under Ronnie. I know you've been hurt before. Of course we all have to some degree. While I respect what your head is telling you; your heart can only accept true love if open. Come on, girl. Open it up and let the sunshine through. If a thunderstorm breaks out, you can put up an umbrella. If it was open beforehand, you'd never see the light...feel the warmth. Maybe you'd get struck by lightning...maybe it would restart your heart. Don't go all Star Warsy Missile Defense on me...You aren't even able to show the best part of you. Maybe they make a Love Screen: #50 sbf (seamless boy friend). Now go out there and get a tan.

    Posted by valentino May 21, 09 01:15 PM
  1. I'm a little torn here. I can't say " once a cheater, always a cheater" but I would see it as a bit of a red flag only b/c it sounds like he's not sorry about why he did it. He offered up excuses but didn't apologize or recognize that there is no actual excuse.

    His being honest about it is promising though. Don't let the thought ruin your fun, just keep the lines of communication open at all times so if either of you are feeling " stuck" you can work it out before anyone feels the need to cheat.

    Posted by thedemocraddict May 21, 09 01:16 PM
  1. Exvermonter-
    Trust, but verify? I feel like we're back in the Cold War under Ronnie. I know you've been hurt before. Of course we all have to some degree. While I respect what your head is telling you; your heart can only accept true love if open. Come on, girl. Open it up and let the sunshine through. If a thunderstorm breaks out, you can put up an umbrella. If it was open beforehand, you'd never see the light...feel the warmth. Maybe you'd get struck by lightning...maybe it would restart your heart. Don't go all Star Warsy Missile Defense on me...You aren't even able to show the best part of you. Maybe they make a Love Screen: #50 sbf (seamless boy friend). Now go out there and get a tan.

    Posted by valentino May 21, 09 01:18 PM
  1. I respectful request that commentors stop putting themselves into their advice. No offense, but we don't need to hear your sob story or see you try to interject yourself into the spotlight. Because one time back in the 1970's, your husband cheated on you behind the snack bar at the roller rink, doesn't necessarily mean that a letter writer's spouse is ABSOLUTELY going to cheat today. Everyone is different and every relationship is different. I assumed that was first grade Common Sense 101, but evidently not.

    Give opinions and advice, not your life story. We don't care. Write your own letter to M.Gold (or constantly refer to yourself in the third person, post 4 times per day, and get wood over bikes) if you are that desperate to be the center of attention. Thank you.

    Posted by Bob Dwyer May 21, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Your uneasiness in your relationship has absolutely nothing to do with him and 100% because of you. He did a mature, grown up thing by telling you a negative story about his past. No one is perfect in this world. Human beings are flawed. You have not completely healed from your last break up and are being completely unfair by holding this against your current boyfriend. Let me guess there wasn't much time in between boyfriends for you? Are you a lily-padder?? Listen up everyone, you need time after a break up to heal your heart and process what had happened. You most likely rushed into this new relationship because your new guy seemed like a safe harbor for you, but you brought along all of your baggage, anxiety and insecurities! Focus on fixing you, not him and your life will be much happier.

    Posted by trueluv4eva May 21, 09 01:29 PM
  1. I love how folks say "he was honest with you". He was also stupid, to tell you, was he not? He rationalized his cheating, did he not? If I cheated, which I did once, sort of, is kissing cheating? It was at the end of a relationship, but I know enough to know it's wrong, something I would be ashamed of, something I would not go out to my way to say to a new boyfriend. Was he 'being honest" or did he merely mention it because it meant so little to him and he's thoughtless if what he says? Be careful.

    Posted by maybe gravy May 21, 09 01:38 PM
  1. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Trust no one.

    Posted by Desmond Jones May 21, 09 01:44 PM
  1. Dear Wary as long as you keep this new boyfriend completely satsified---especially when the two of you are intimate--you will be OK. Also, what's the big deal if he occassionally cheats? As long as he uses a condom its none of your business. Don't put too many restrictions on your man, it''ll just drive him away.

    Posted by thetruthteller May 21, 09 01:44 PM
  1. If he were a chronic cheater, he probably wouldn't have told you he cheated before, since it puts you on notice and thus makes it more difficult for him to get away with, say, hosting a "butt show" while you're at work.

    Besides, according to Wikipedia, "15-25% of married Americans have had extramarital sex at least once in their lifetime." If you assume cheating happens at a more elevated rate among non-married couples, that suggests to me we've all got roughly a 1 in 3 chance of dating someone who has cheated in the past. All the better for him to be up front and own his past behavior, since many people would not, and at least it's out in the open. Furthermore, just because someone hasn't cheated before, doesn't mean it can't happen.

    Therefore, I advocate constant vigilance in all circumstances. That doesn't mean being paranoid and refusing to ever trust anyone. It does, however, mean keeping an open mind in new relationships, and looking out for yourself.

    So, yes, Meredith is right on. Tuck it away in your mind as a yellow flag. But if you can't tuck it away, if you can't get past it and can't allow yourself to trust him and respect him like you need to, if these feelings lead you end the relationship, that's okay too. Because there's no reason to be with someone you can't be comfortable with.

    Posted by Beth May 21, 09 01:49 PM
  1. Calm down, Bob. To quote George Costanza, "We're trying to build a society here!" If people want to back up their opinions with their own past history, what's the harm? Let's all learn a little about each other and be supportive. Isn't that what this is all about? If you're so disinterested in other people, why are you even here reading?

    Let's explore your anger. Were you hurt as a child?

    Posted by yikes May 21, 09 01:50 PM
  1. Bobby D, Wary did say, "I'd really appreciate your advice, as well as any comments from readers who have cheated on someone before and then gone the straight and narrow with a subsequent relationship." So if you're referring to Penelope, you probably are referring to the letter that Wary is going to take most to heart. In general, though, I agree with you: TM(Personal)I in lots of the letters. Especially from you-know-who.

    Posted by Jasper's pet May 21, 09 01:56 PM
  1. Bob Dwyer-
    Don’t get your panties in a twist. If you read the entire post the writer in one way or another actually asks for people to share their story. Have you ever even read this blog before? It’s about people sharing their personal experiences and giving advice. If you don’t like a "sob story" you shouldn’t be reading a relationship blog.

    I actually had a meaningful advice which I decided to delete to lecture you instead... Do you have attention issues Bob?


    Posted by Learn to read Bob May 21, 09 02:05 PM
  1. Wow, toldyouso (among others), quite some generalizations here. Let's stick to the topic instead of airing your own hangups.

    Wary, I agree with Meredith. It's a yellow flag. Whether he justified it or not, told you while drinking or not, he told you in the context of doing right in THIS relationship.

    Good luck.

    Posted by alipie May 21, 09 02:11 PM
  1. truthteller you sound like you've been around the wrapper a few times.

    I think that's a pretty standard conversation to have with someone you've been dating. Some would lie and some tell the truth, some things you just have to take it to the grave. Over a few drinks, I am sure he felt good about telling ya and slapped himself the next day. Remember, it's only cheating if they find out.... think about that one.

    Posted by babygorilla May 21, 09 02:13 PM
  1. I came from a different time and place - some folks did have long term boyfriends and girlfriends but not all of us. I had one for a while, but I was young, my first year of college. And during that time I went out once with another guy. Yes, I did it because I wasn't madly in love with my "boyfriend" and I wanted to go on a different date with someone else. But really, is it cheating? At least part of the problem nowadays is folks get into these relationships and they live together - so there's financial considerations - they have kids together without getting married - so there's other human beings to think about. It's all too complicated now. This guy years ago had a girlfriend and went out with someone else at the same time. Oh well. That's life. That's how we get to know people, including ourselves. Whatever...

    Posted by weary May 21, 09 02:14 PM
  1. I came from a different time and place - some folks did have long term boyfriends and girlfriends but not all of us. I had one for a while, but I was young, my first year of college. And during that time I went out once with another guy. Yes, I did it because I wasn't madly in love with my "boyfriend" and I wanted to go on a different date with someone else. But really, is it cheating? At least part of the problem nowadays is folks get into these relationships and they live together - so there's financial considerations - they have kids together without getting married - so there's other human beings to think about. It's all too complicated now. This guy years ago had a girlfriend and went out with someone else at the same time. Oh well. That's life. That's how we get to know people, including ourselves. Whatever...

    Posted by weary May 21, 09 02:15 PM
  1. Valentino dear, thanks for your concern. I put that tidbit in there because I knew it would get a rise out of you. The way to my heart is through my head. Would you get into an airplane and take off for 40,000 feet without performing a pre-flight systems check first? I think not! Nor would I put my precious heart in the hands of someone who has not gone through a pre-flight check, so to speak. Make sense? My heart is open but no fools need apply here.

    Posted by exvermonter May 21, 09 02:26 PM
  1. Okay, okay, I get it. You all enjoy the wallowing and sharing of your personal experiences. I won't try to upset the status quo. I'll fall in line and try to fit in.

    I've put on my oversized t-shirt, cotton sweatpants, and crocs. Now, will one of you fatties pass me the bon bons and a diet coke? I need that and this forum to vent my insecurities and anger at the male species. Let me tell you all about this one time when I dug through a bag of clothes that my ex-husband had given me to donate to Goodwill. I held each and every item of clothing under blacklight to try to detect bodily fluids and lipstick. That will teach him for being too loud with his house cleaning chores while I was trying to watch the American Idol results show...

    Posted by Bob Dwyer May 21, 09 02:30 PM
  1. Puleaze! My husband cheated on practically EVERYONE he was with; then he had a son. And he snapped right out of his immature behavior. We've been together ten years and he has never so much as looked at another woman the entire time we've been together. And, 15 years ago, I broke off an engagement with my loser ex-fiancee because he didn't just cheat, he got her PREGNANT. So, yeah, I get the "I don't want to be around a cheater thing." I went through the same phase when my husband (before we were married) fessed up. I had a choice to make, and I made it empirically - he in OUR relationship had never given me reason to question his loyalty; never did then, never has since. That's probably how you should make your choice - how HE behaves.

    Posted by lwagz1 May 21, 09 02:48 PM
  1. It's a crap shoot......You'll never know for sure unless you stick it out. If you don't stick it out you might always wonder if he was the one...You just have to go with your gut and decide if you want to be with the person he is right now.

    Posted by gigi May 21, 09 02:59 PM
  1. Rico needs to give Rico a good smack upside the head!

    Posted by itzmikey May 21, 09 03:03 PM
  1. I actually can’t believe he even admitted that he had cheated in the past, WHAT AN IDIOT! This dude should get extra points for being so honest, bake him some cupcakes or something dammit.

    So, I think that you should totally can this guy, not because he cheated on some skank years ago but because he doesn’t sound too intelligent. How is this guy going to support you in the future if he’s not even smart enough to lie to his girlfriend? He probably couldn’t even get a job at the local ____ (whatever is in Ware, lumber yard? tractor pull? paper mill?).

    Here are a few questions to which every man should answer with, “No way!!”:
    1. Have you ever cheated on someone before? (Maybe I have and maybe I…have)
    2. Do I look fat? (Obvi)
    3. Do you think any of my friends are cute? (Double-obvi)
    4. Do you think young Sean Connery is cute? (Whaaaaaat? No? Why? Did he say something to you or something?)
    5. Can you hold my purse while I go: try this on/take a dump/fix my hair? (I’ll give you something to hold, zing!)

    Drop that zero and get with a… 0.0459.

    Posted by NinjaPlease May 21, 09 03:03 PM
  1. Ladies and Gentelman...Roberta Dwyer

    Posted by valentino May 21, 09 03:23 PM
  1. I actually can’t believe he even admitted that he had cheated in the past, WHAT AN IDIOT! This dude should get extra points for being so honest, bake him some cupcakes or something dammit.

    So, I think that you should totally can this guy, not because he cheated on some skank years ago but because he doesn’t sound too intelligent. How is this guy going to support you in the future if he’s not even smart enough to lie to his girlfriend? He probably couldn’t even get a job at the local ____ (whatever is in Ware, lumber yard? tractor pull? paper mill?).

    Here are a few questions to which every man should answer with, “No way!!”:
    1. Have you ever cheated on someone before? (Maybe I have and maybe I…have)
    2. Do I look fat? (Obvi)
    3. Do you think any of my friends are cute? (Double-obvi)
    4. Do you think young Sean Connery is cute? (Whaaaaaat? No? Why? Did he say something to you or something?)
    5. Can you hold my purse while I go: try this on/take a dump/fix my hair? (I’ll give you something to hold, zing!)

    Drop that zero and get with a… 0.0459.

    Posted by NinjaPlease May 21, 09 03:25 PM
  1. I've been in a relationship for over a decade. It started out normal enough, but it's become an "open" relationship in the last few years, largely because it became obvious to us both that we had a good thing, but that I was never going to stop sleeping with other people. It's only fair that he get in on that, too. To portray myself as an even-worse person, I began an affair with a married man many years ago. He'd been with her a few years and the spark was lost, so he found me. After some time, the marriage fizzled, and they divorced. He met another woman, and while we kept in contact, it was clear that he was happy and didn't want to "see" me. Just over a year into this second marriage, he asked if we could start things up again. Lots has changed for both of us, but we do see each other occasionally.

    Moral of the story? Once a cheater, always a cheater. Oh, and monogamy isn't for everyone :)


    Posted by nsagirl May 21, 09 03:42 PM
  1. EZ! Give him a chance, but agree on a really severe punishment if he cheats with you. I mean, he gives you $100,000 and becomes your slave and you get to cheat 3 times, etc.

    After all, if he's so sure it won't happen then he must sign anything saying so, regardless of it's penalties. If he hesitations, you have 'flushed out' more unseemly truth about him... It's extreme but effective and has the great feature of paying you for the hurt and hurting and punishing him all at the same time. Make it a written legal document signed and enforceable and once in a while have a private dick make sure he's being good boy...

    Posted by j.C. May 21, 09 03:43 PM
  1. Hahahahahaha Bob Dwyer you sound like a big b*tch!

    Posted by Situation May 21, 09 03:58 PM
  1. Ninj-
    Anonymico can’t even tell the truth of who he is in this post. It would compromise his status. He agrees with you completely. One day, Anonymico’s wife asked him what’s worse: Global Warming or Cheating. Everyone knows Anonymico hates Global Warmers. Anonymico was honest. Anonymico says cheating mankind is worse than an indiscretion against wife. You can always get another wife, but only one earth. Anonymico can’t win. Wife’s family won’t talk to him. No Hugs for Anonymico.

    N2O not CO2

    Posted by Anonymico May 21, 09 04:18 PM
  1. I find it interesting that a few people are surprised by/disgusted by/hung up on Boyfriend's admission of past cheating, as though he committed some sort of relationship sin or acted really stupidly by admitting it. I have found that the process of gradual disclosure of all the past relationship info is an inevitable (sometimes tedious) part of every new relationship. That includes my bad behavior, the bad behavior (which was MUCH WORSE, of course!) of my exes, the traumas, the lessons learned...there's a lot of navel-gazing in new relationships, at least in mine. So this admission seems like a pretty normal thing to me.

    As for its predictive value...not so much. If you assume that everyone who's cheated will always cheat again, you are assuming that no one ever learns anything and no one ever grows up. I certainly don't want to be held responsible for my actions as a younger woman - God, I was a ninny. (And I did cheat, once, twenty years ago. Wish I'd paid attention to my own behavior then; I was about to marry a guy I didn't love. Married him anyway. Oh, well. Live, learn, get divorced. It's all good.)

    This is interesting info, but not something to get too worked up about. May your lives flourish as you get to know each other better and build a stronger relationship! Best of luck.

    Posted by MelissaJane May 21, 09 04:28 PM
  1. In general I think we place too much emphasis on cheating. I think cheating is only a mask for other issues. Often cheating is a way to fill a void-- a desperate need for affection, attention, to feel desired. When one partner in a relationship leaves another feeling neglected in this particular way, the results are a shared responsibility. And, please don't lecture about commitments and promises. In our society, for good or bad, one promises to be the exclusive provider of romantic attention and sexual satisfaction to your partner. This should mean that one is not allowed to withhold that. Yet, many partners do withhold it, not for a day or 2, but for yoears. What kind of partnership is that? So, don't worry about cheating. Instead pay attention to your compatibility and priotity for passionate fulfillment.

    Posted by Mrs_j May 21, 09 05:25 PM
  1. Dwyer is right. Too often people think their own personal experiences have anything to do with the situation and start unloading all sorts of rediculous and unapplicable info. Giving sound advice requires an UNBIASED opinion, sheesh, that's rule number one. The second you start extrapolating from your own messed up life, your "advice" actually turns into "venting".

    I know none of you will ever be confused with relationship counselors but you can at least try to be somewhat helpful to these poor shlubs, instead of just spouting off about your own problems. Also, Valentino>Hoss>>>>>>>>>>>Rico ftw

    Posted by MacaroniDoodleDandyAndy May 21, 09 05:29 PM
  1. Anonymico...Mico...Valentino...
    That was really quite funny.

    One small slap for a cheating man, one giant whipping for cheating mankind .

    Now get out out of the house, Val! Rico's waiting for you with your new Huffy down on the Esplanade!

    Posted by Sasha May 21, 09 05:37 PM
  1. Nasagirl - will you please write in to Meredith!? That was an amazing post.

    Posted by Tricia May 21, 09 06:10 PM
  1. The only thing that raises a red flag with me is that even though he confessed his cheating, he still excused it by saying the relationship was lacking passion. In other words, he still seems to think that gave him grounds for cheating. People who are truly sorry for cheating and intend to reform don't make excuses. They just admit they were jerks and move on. I know this because I am a reformed cheater myself. I cheated on my first husband, which ended our marriage. I learned my lesson, and in the 18 years I've been married to my second (and last!) husband, I haven't even considered cheating.

    Posted by Evelyn May 21, 09 06:22 PM
  1. Yes, he will cheat again. That's been my experience especially when they tell you outright.

    Posted by mc May 21, 09 06:50 PM
  1. My brother-in-law has been cheating on my sister since year 1 of their marriage. And she knows it...first she suspected, then she was certain. To keep him, she kept having children. Soon, the last will be gone and yet she doesn't leave. She tracks him, calls constantly, and is both obsessive-compulsive and depressed. The Paxil is no longer working (because she doesn't take it) and he won't go to counseling because "he's fine." I know all this because he finally confided in my husband. What my sister doesn't know is that he has been having an affair with the same woman for 9 years - trips, flowers, jewelry - the whole thing. They live in a small town and my sister thinks that if she hangs on, he'll just "stick it out" til one of them dies. My sister deserves better though she doesn't think so. Her kids think she should leave. He stays because of the money. It is so sad for all concerned. Sister: Please walk away.

    Posted by CarolineC May 21, 09 07:20 PM
  1. I disagree with Bob Dwyer. What better advice can you get than from someone who has actually experienced the same situation! You can not understand what it is like until the same thing has happened to you. I feel it is helpful to hear how they dealt with the same type of problem. So, people, please keep relating your life experiences for the rest of us.

    I hate cheaters as much as Rico does. But, since the relationship is new, I would give this guy a fair chance and see how it goes. Hopefully, it will work out and he has learned from his past mistake.

    Posted by kris May 21, 09 07:27 PM
  1. Wary: Ask yourself how much risk you are comfortable assuming here. You mentioned that you were badly hurt when a past boyfriend cheated on you, so it's understandable that you'd feel skittish about it happening again. From what you have said about the man you're dating now, it sounds like the risk of being cheated on is not overly high - but it is still a risk. If you are comfortable with the situation overall, then continue forward and try not to worry about being cheated on, as the worrying itself may cause more problems than it prevents.

    Posted by Terminater5 May 21, 09 08:38 PM
  1. gee, what a surprise. trust me. i be faithul to you. the cheatin' is out of my system.....NOT. Wake up and smell the coffee. there is a genetic defect here and its yelling at you.....HEY, LOOK AT ME....I CHEAT, I ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL...BUT YOU SHOULD LOVE ME ANYWAY BECAUSE THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT. THIS TIME I WILL KEEP IT ZIPPED UP

    Posted by realitybites May 21, 09 09:40 PM
  1. Simply said ; That was then and this is now. Make of it what you want.

    Posted by Been there May 21, 09 09:43 PM
  1. wary in ware,

    there is an old Latin saying: "falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" false in one point, false in all. The ancients knew what they were talking about.

    Run before he hurts you. tell him adios, amigo. there are plenty of 'non falsus' gentlemen out there.

    Posted by gaudete May 21, 09 09:47 PM
  1. Wow...so many losers, so many posts.

    Is there nothing on TV tonight?

    Posted by wowwhatlosers May 21, 09 10:33 PM
  1. HE should be asking himself if he wants to be involved with somebody so obsessed with this issue who has yet to ask the specifics about WHY he needed to go elsewhere to meet his basic needs. SHE hasn't expressed interested in or identified what it was that he wasn't getting at home that caused him to wander. Therefore, she's probably going to be unsatisfying to him in this relationship, and his wandering will no doubt become her self-fulfilling prophecy. As a man, I would run away from this woman immediately, because she's gonna be lousy in bed.

    Posted by bosfiddle May 22, 09 02:58 AM
  1. Hey #3 Hoss,
    YES, Iam saying & will say it again - it was not done to you , it was not done to your friend! Make me say otherwise!
    flags are flags, @end of the day I have blamed everyone else for my problems, and I have fleed the crime scene.how do you make a criminal say "Iam GUILTY"?
    not an easy one,huh?

    Posted by catch me if you can May 22, 09 06:11 AM
  1. men cheat because of:
    ->Loneliness in their relationship or marriage.
    ->Affirmation from “the other women.”
    ->Not enough attention at home.
    FWIW, men who had affairs said that they felt like they couldn’t win at home or in their marriage.88% of the men said that the other woman wasn’t better looking or in better shape than their wives.
    FWIW, Only 7% tell their wives without being asked that they had an affair.55% of the men still haven’t told their wives about their affairs.
    advice to men who shoudn't cheat - take a guess!
    --Puncho

    Posted by 2knowmyself May 22, 09 06:13 AM
  1. Hey #47 exvermonter,
    tell your online chat-pal that before you advise to Tricia, rake it up with yourgal!
    baby,it is not TRICIA,you have many in your circle to respond!
    BEWARE,else, you will be PUNCHed not into Western MApitts but way into western texas pitts ! FREE airplane can drop you from 40,000 feet too!

    Posted by You have been warned!!!!! May 22, 09 06:14 AM
  1. Goldberg’s “Big Five Personality Factors” (neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) can help predict which people are more likely to cheat.
    People whose personalities do not agree with the Big Five Factors are less likely to find satisfaction in a relationship, and thus are more likely to cheat (the opposite is also true).
    --THe women cheat to make them feel valued, secure, and appreciated.

    Posted by Boston SUCKS! May 22, 09 06:16 AM
  1. If cheating is a way to fill a void-- a desperate need for affection,you are left with a feeling neglected in this particular way, these are people with an avoidant attachment style are more likely to cheat.
    "Infidelity could be a regulatory emotional strategy used by people with an avoidant attachment style. The act of cheating helps them avoid commitment phobia, distances them from their partner, and helps them keep their space and freedom."
    ----The motives for infidelity is the will to distance themselves from commitment and their partner. Just as many men and women had an avoidant attachment style and the correlation with infidelity is just as strong on both sides. "Contrary to popular belief, infidelity isn't more prevalent in men."

    Posted by just-soyouknow May 22, 09 06:18 AM
  1. Hey #29 bumbly-bee,
    BOSTON SUCKS!
    c'mon, for once , leave lust on #BannedinBoston
    say hai to gals for a CHANGE!!!
    YES, we want to hear from you BOSTON......)

    Posted by hit me hard! May 22, 09 06:19 AM
  1. Hey #49 COOKIE,
    let's not start with fore-fathers here,
    your ex-bf got his ex-fiancee PREGS,
    your hubby is getting someone PREGS right now,
    you probably are PREGS yourself!
    your bf/so is probably onto with someone today,
    your would-be is planning this wknd,
    your lust glance someone in front of you has a time-share plans for next month....
    Take a lie-detector test , right NOW!

    FINE honey, let's tear them DOWN 1@time:
    even if you get married with the best of intentions things don't always turn out the way we plan.
    your are still talking about your past with your husband,
    how HE behaves! Talk to gals here sugarpie !
    do you feel hurt, resent your hubby ? insecurity to boredom to revenge to power over someone else's emotions ???
    BOSTON wants to know.

    Posted by REMEMBER - TEAR THEM DOWN 1@time. May 22, 09 06:21 AM
  1. #49 dear chocopie,
    your vocabulary is filled with void right now,
    here's 1@time - { Intimacy Without Sex is "Emotional CHEATING." }

    your hubby went thru emotional cheating,
    you went thru emotional cheating!!!
    BUZZYBEEBUZZ word is EMOTIONAL CHEATING!

    Don't play the blame-game here on your hubby/ex-bf/bf/SO/lusty lust WLAFA
    ----tell them and GET OUT OF IT your relationship DAMMIT !
    or BOSTON wants to know, whatta ya say ?

    Posted by BOSTON SPEAK UP May 22, 09 06:23 AM
  1. Why Some Married Women Cheat On Their Husbands?
    -out of revenge, and feel that if their husband is sleeping around, there is nothing to say that they themselves do not have the right to sleep around as well. Although it may feel great at first getting revenge, it truly fulfills no purpose, and can only aid in destroying what is left of the couple's marriage.

    Women also tend to stray from their husbands when they are not getting enough attention from their husbands, whether it be mentally, physically or otherwise. Many women feel that they have become alienated from their husbands and no longer feel that there is any love or feelings between them, at least not coming from their husband's part. Depression and loneliness can lead an individual to do many things that they would never do had they been feeling like themselves.
    Some women simply cheat on their husbands for the thrill of not getting caught, or the feeling that they are getting away with something. Often times it becomes an addiction for men and women alike, and seems to be uncontrollable until all is lost, including their marriage, their health, and many times their mental stability.

    In closing, women cheat for exactly the same reasons that men do, and in either case, it is not physically safe to be sleeping around on your spouse, and risking losing your marriage, no matter how far lost you think your marriage may be. If you are that dead set on ending your marriage, GO AHEAD AND DO IT !!!!!!!!!, before you start sleeping around, especially if you have children that will be hurt by your actions.

    Posted by Free Therapy BOSTON ! May 22, 09 06:27 AM
  1. Recently, a friend of mine, Carol, visited me in Boston. We had dinner at one of those quaint, outside restaurants on Newbury Street. Well-dressed passers-by and new lovers provided our backdrop. I told Carol of my interest in knowing why married men and women have affairs. Carol coughed politely and squirmed. I waited to hear what she had to say. Carol told me her story. Ten years earlier, when she was thirty-nine, "My husband was ignoring me. Not big-time, mind you, but we'd been married for a while, and other things had his attention, especially those damn TV sports. It started to bother me a lot. I read the right books, even tried to liven things up, you know, candlelight dinners, sexy lingerie, and all. I even saw a therapist." She looked at me, chagrined. "Funny, huh? See, I didn't want a divorce, I just wanted Sam to change, but he didn't. His baseball-watching drove me crazy. One day I went to a friend's 40th birthday party. Sam had begged off, and I was irritated enough to go alone. Let him have his game. This guy stared at me right away. Anyway, all night long he paid a lot of attention to me. As I was leaving, Richard asked for my number. I felt scared, but I was excited when I gave it to him. Two days later he called me. We started sleeping together right away. It was great, but it ended in a short while. I was afraid of getting caught. He was so sweet. One night, what else is new, Sam had his TV game on watching a baseball game, of course. I was in the kitchen cleaning up when I heard Richard's voice. It startled me--hearing his voice. I waited for the camera to focus on the speaker, and, sure enough, it was Richard. I sat down and watched the rest of the game. Sam kept looking over at me, like I'd lost my mind, but, true to character, he never mentioned it."

    I shook my head, "That's a great story, Carol." She smiled and reached for my hand. "You never know how people will respond, you know?" I smiled back.

    "To this day, I have a soft spot in my heart for baseball games. In fact, more than once, Sam has shaken his head over my refusal to watch any other sport. Actually, Sam and I have gotten along a little better since Richard."

    Posted by Carol May 22, 09 06:32 AM
  1. Rarely is there a single reason why a person has an affair, rather, there are a multitude of reasons. Take my friend, Carol, for example. She said that she had an affair because she wanted more attention from her husband, however, if you spoke with her husband, Sam, he would tell you that she was the one who was distancing from him. The factors that Carol didn't mention, though they came through loud and clear in her story, were that she wanted some excitement in her life, that her self-esteem was in need of a lift, and lo and behold, she was forty-two and, as she acknowledges now in retrospect, she was going through a mid-life crisis. And it would be naive to assume that revenge was not a factor in Carol's choice of a partner for her affair.

    Though reasons for an affair are many, often they can be identified, generally, there is one primary reason. This primary reason may not be easily discernible, especially if that reason feels inappropriate to the person. For example, Carol might give excitement or attention as reasons for an affair, but she would avoid mentioning her low self-esteem. I know that when I mentioned the word, "revenge" as a possible motive, she became defensive and a little angry. "I told you that I didn't know what he did for a living until we were already involved." But coincidences do often speak for themselves. Here is a woman who is jealous of her husband's devotion to sports, specifically baseball, and she sleeps with a TV baseball announcer!

    In order to understand the reasons a married person has an affair, it helps to understand the man or woman, however, as with any cause and effect dynamic, generalizations may still be made. Factors which make it difficult to know the real reasons are that all of us like to think that we're doing things for a reason which makes sense.

    An affair has two possible directions: one, the affair continues, or two, the affair ends. The possibilities encountered on either path are whether or not the spouse knows of the adultery and whether or not the marital relationship ends.

    Posted by Wake up BOSTON! May 22, 09 06:34 AM
  1. If a person wants a divorce and his or her spouse doesn't, one way to ensure that the spouse will agree to a divorce is to have an affair, though it may not be a conscious decision, it works.
    SOME DIFFERENT KINDS OF AFFAIRS - EXCITEMENT AND ADVENTURE, UNDERSTANDING AND COMPANIONSHIP,ROMANCE / LOVE,LUST / SEX,
    ONE-NIGHT STAND/OPPORTUNITY, ATTENTION/ACKNOWLEDGMENT, REVENGE/TIT FOR TAT, FREEDOM/ESCAPE, INDEPENDENCE/SEPARATENESS.
    BISEXUAL/LESBIAN/GAY. POWER/CONTROL. TO BE DIFFERENT/TO BE YOURSELF. TO END THE MARRIAGE.

    Posted by Somekinda-affairs! May 22, 09 06:39 AM
  1. Years ago, the challenges for a spouse were different--easier, many would say. The focus was on doing your duty, fulfilling your role as a husband or wife. A "search for yourself" was not the focus of a person's life, in fact, it was rarely mentioned. Now, we are expected to "search for ourself" and take care of the others in our life-- spouse, children, aging parents, a house, and for women, balance a career with it all. For men, the expectation is to be "sensitive" as well.

    --The pressure on husbands and wives is to do it all is as never before. Even sex with a spouse has pressure--how often, what kind of orgasm, and not just the kind, but how many. Years ago, you spread your legs every Saturday night after the bath, you did it and both of you rolled over and went to sleep. No "who goes first" or "did we have equal time" or "orgasm thermometer." In and out. Duty done.

    Posted by Changing BOSTON May 22, 09 06:41 AM
  1. One way to escape our responsibilities would be to enter another world. However, we don't become missionaries nor nuns, too much responsibility for that, and no, we rarely walk away from our kids, and we can't just ignore the demands of our aging parents, so we stay and try to do it all, and let's face it, we need money to live.

    Posted by BLAME it on others GAL !!! May 22, 09 06:42 AM
  1. A lot of us go to THERAPY and find support for all that we have to do and want to do. It helps. Some of us even manage to change a little, to fix our boundaries, to learn to say "NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOO" for the first time. The more athletically predisposed join gyms and fitness centers and physically work out pressures. Many find supportive friends. Talking helps. We joint support groups and interest groups, bonding together with strangers in order to be able to share the vulnerabilities we do not want to burden our loved ones with. The groups help too. Many take ways which ultimately add to their troubles. They drink too much, or engage in recreational drugs. Others use the legitimate drugs, Zoloft and Prozac are common names, as a way to avoid depression.
    -----
    BOSTON , which one HELPS you ???????????

    Posted by BOSTON - which one helps you ??????????? May 22, 09 06:44 AM
  1. Will he cheat again ?
    will he cheat again with the same gf?
    will he cheat with someone else?
    will he cheat if he knows she is cheating?
    will he cheat if he knows she is cheating again?
    will he cheat if he knows she is cheating again with the same bf?
    will he cheat if he knows she is cheating with many more?

    Bumblybuzzybee, what is the MOST haunting question for you ???????

    Posted by BOSTON SAY IT ! May 22, 09 07:09 AM
  1. Hey wary ,
    what's your age ? are you stay-at-home-dude / do ya work / go to college?
    many colleges have FREE informal counsellors who can listen to you, unbiased, from a range of emotional needs , intimidating, hostile, or offensive acts........... to sexual harassment. some counsellors are teachers too. here you won't be judged in your next class if you take a class with the same counsellor and is confidential.They guide you thru the next steps till the legal big ones. I once had a friend who was in the same situation.he feels much better now that he spoke with to one of his school counsellors . even though it did not ,in totality, heal him, he has some pointers to where to go from here.

    Posted by Don't like THERAPY ! May 22, 09 07:37 AM
  1. Rico is back and awaiting today's issue to write about. Newly refreshed from a beautiful afternoon off and feeling great.

    No Rico doesn't ride a Huffy, he rode a Murray as a child, a Raleigh as a teen, a Hrao off road as a young adult but now as an avid rider he rolls along on a Cannondale. Made in USA by hand (But Rico thinks they may be sold out now?) but still the best ride out there. Light, nimble, solid and fun to ride while it looks nice too.

    Rico had a nice afternoon yesterday and it seems the writers in his place had some fun too.

    Bottom line to this person is to always be prepared but don't "line-up" another or expect something will go wrong. Give the relationship a chance and see where it goes. He may have cheated but he was honest about it and it was in his past. While it is a flaw it may not be in his genes. As Rico said yesterday, communication is great, make sure to love eahc other and give each other space and tend to one anothers needs. HUGS go a long way too.

    Rico liked the N2O not CO2 reference, that was nice

    Bikes not Bombs and Gears not Gas...gotta love the environment!!!

    Love always,

    Rico

    Posted by Rico May 22, 09 08:27 AM
  1. RUNNNNN!!!!!!
    Red Flags in your gut should never be ignored.
    Once a cheater always a cheater...I learned the hardway


    RUUUNNNN!!!!!!!

    Posted by rascal May 22, 09 08:33 AM
  1. A tiger doesn't change its stripes, I know!

    Posted by Experienced May 22, 09 08:45 AM
  1. DJMcG......... seriously????????? You think that if a guy or woman has never cheated before you are GUARANTEED they won't ever cheat? Hmmmm well that first person that got cheated on... their partner had never cheated BEFORE but with them they did so how is there EVER a GUARANTEE that just isn't intellectually honest. You must be someone who has been cheated on. Ever person is different and every two people put together are different. He might never had cheated if he had never been in a relationship with THAT person. Then to say people NEVER change... I'm thinking you have some issues. People make mistakes and give others a reason to cheat.

    Posted by Donna May 22, 09 08:45 AM
  1. They push men for commitment
    They get what they want
    They lose interest in sex
    They become attracted to someone else
    They start cheating
    They become angry and resentful
    They begin telling their partners that they need time apart
    They blame their partners for their behavior...and eventually, after making themselves and everyone around them miserable for an indefinite, but usually, long period of time, they end their relationships or marriages.

    Posted by predictab;le pattern May 22, 09 08:57 AM
  1. How to get clear about what you're really doing
    How to understand your feelings for your husband - what it really means when you say, "I love him, but I'm not "in" love with him
    How to know if your feelings for the "other man" are real
    How to know if there's a possibility for a future with the other man
    How to stop your circular thinking
    How to end your confusion and move forward

    Posted by living in a limbo - michelle langley May 22, 09 09:03 AM
  1. I talk from a first hand experience. My gf (and later fiance) cheated only because she enjoyed the thrill of being with other guys. She was a guy's gal - rooting at football games, beating the best of us in beer-pong. She had tons of male "close friends", many who were outside my circle of friends and she spent a lot of time with them. As soon as I got engaged, one guy whom I had met felt bad for me (or so he said) and told me she had slept with him while we dating. After that I started intentionally getting closer to all her "close" guy friends, and one by one every one admitted she had slept with them at one point or another - from before our relationship started to even after we got engaged. So, it is about time we cross out women cheating as a reactionary cause and them being victims. God knows, I have been a victim. It has destroyed me mentally, professionally and on a social level. So to all women advocated out there - first stop blowing the plumber and then open your mouth.

    Posted by I disagree May 22, 09 09:05 AM
  1. Women who cheat are PROACTIVE in doing so and not reactive. Women need to take the responsibility for thier actions and stop placing the blame somewhere else to justify things. Unfortunately, the laws today give incentive for women to cheat.
    I have never cheated once in life and in 15 relationships- all the way from highschool girlfriends, college girlfriends to fiance to wife- all have cheated and did so on thier own actions. I met these females at a variety of areas all the way from bars to church camp. At what point does probability give, out of 15 reltionships, that 100% have cheated according to a simple statistical analysis based on the student T test? I'd say I should have bought a lottery ticket instead.

    Posted by I absolutely disagree May 22, 09 09:07 AM
  1. I've been married for 12 years. I've been faithful the whole time. I've had chances not to be, but never took them. I'm a good husband. My wife and I have a great sex life. Even after 12 years. She became interested in another man 6 years ago. Her friend was cheating on her husband at the time. the guy she was cheating with was friends with the guy my wife had a fondness for. When I moved out and threatened to divorce her she quickly cut off all contact with those people before anything got started and she went too far. Things were great again until last night. When I got out of the shower she was chatting via im to her first serious boyfriend who looked her up through myspace. She doesn't understand why I have a problem with this. I explained that it only takes a couple of weeks of this kind of thing, these "casual" internet contacts to go from being "not like that" to being "exactly like that." When I questioned if this was going she half-heartedly said yes and quickly changed the subject. I told her this morning that this situation is what it is and I wasn't going to be overbearing and contriolling but she better think about it long and hard before making a huge mistake. I know one thing. She will regret cheating on me and it won't take long if she makes that decision. Women the victims of cheating? Don't think so.

    Posted by wes May 22, 09 09:09 AM
  1. Few would say that any of these reasons for cheating are justifiable. Whether it is boredom, self-esteem, revenge, or the pain that relationships often bring, the answer is to go to work on the relationship, not to have an affair. We can understand the motivations for affairs, but we still know that they are harmful and someone usually gets hurt badly.

    Posted by Is your value physical beauty, sex appeal, and the ability to attract men ?. May 22, 09 09:12 AM
  1. well, beautiful women love to cheat too.Indiscriminately chosen partners and meaningless sex? Hot women just can’t get enough. Something about the chemicals in their ovaries shooting rivers of indecision and sluttishness into their bloodstreams.

    Posted by Tart and soul May 22, 09 09:16 AM
  1. I wouldn't want my sins of the past to be held against me, not if I'd really changed. I don't think anybody else would either. What, if you cheat once back when you were 22, it's a scarlet letter when you're 37? C'mon now. The person you are at 37 usually doesn't even remotely resemble the person you were at 22. People do grow and change. Well, they CAN anyway.

    It's just a question of if you buy what he's selling - if you think he has changed. If you doubt his sincerity, then give him a pass. The point is, blanket statements like "once a cheater, always a cheater" don't necessarily apply to everyone. And if it seems like it does, then you're just not meeting the right guys.

    It may apply to individuals, but not as an overall guide to life.

    Posted by Ceej May 22, 09 09:19 AM
  1. Ummm. I didn’t know beautiful women “loved to cheat”!? and was that remark about Fresi and buzzybee having their shit together sarcastic? LOL…. I hope so!
    I think if you “love to cheat”… its because you aren’t happy in your relationship! Otherwise, you shouldn’t be in one thats so serious its considered cheating!

    Posted by Christopher May 22, 09 09:19 AM
  1. Not a real shock ! men and woman cheat because they have many options and temptations with little to loose…Most people don’t cheat because they are scared of the consequences of getting caught versus the morality issue ------- I guess choosing your next conquest from the next ten in line is not a scary consequence…

    Posted by Oscar May 22, 09 09:20 AM
  1. My man and I have been married for 6 years with 3 children, but just 3 months ago I started to have an affair with his step brother. If it wasn’t for the kids, I would have left him a long time ago. My husband and I have no sex life and I am not attracted to him anymore . I am in deep love with his brother.
    Then I went to counsellor who told me this:
    What are you doing? Having the affair is life changing enough, but really with someone in his family ! Not a good idea. At this point it is about fixing the mess and developing a plan to fix things without destroying everything. If you truly love the step brother, then separate from your husband and come clean about the relationship to your husband. He deserves to know about the affair and that his brother may not be totally in his corner. Be prepared for widespread hate from your husband’s family and maybe even a bit of a custody battle where your husband chooses to keep the kids. Unfortunately, your choice in lovers has made your judgment questionable and the effects widespread. Once you are on your own, really evaluate whether or not step brother is the love of your life. It may be a situation where the excitement and love was fueled by the cheating and once the element of cheating is removed the relationship , it may not be that hot. There is a lot of work ahead of you to get the healing going.
    ---------------------------------------

    Posted by Ladawn May 22, 09 09:29 AM
  1. My suggestion is go to relationship expert, author and a personality who has been atleast featured in ESSENCE, Cosmopolitan and GLAMOUR and may be now to help you with your relationship.

    Posted by Hate therapy , hate counseling May 22, 09 09:32 AM
  1. TOO HAVE TO SAY, THERE IS NEVER A GOOD REASON TO CHEAT!

    CHEATERS SUCK, THEY ARE SELFISH AND HURT OTHERS UNNECSARILY.

    I KNOW PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN IN PHSICALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS AND DID NOT RESORT TO CHEATING, I KNOW PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN IN SEXLESS MARRIAGES DUE TO ILLNESS AND THEY HAVE NOT RESORTED TO CHEATING.

    I ALSO KNOW PEOPLE THAT HAVE A BEAUTIFUL MATE, AND A WONDERFUL FAMILY, COUPLE OF KIDS, THEY HAVE GOOD JOBS, THEY SEEM TO BE INTELLIGENT AND BELIEVE IN GOD......BUT THEY CHEAT, ALL BECAUSE THEY DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY ARE GETTING ENOUGH OR THEY DESERVE MORE THAN THEY GET OR THEY ARE SELFISH AND ACTUALLY DON'T CARE ENOUGH FOR THEIR MATE. THEY DON'T APPRECIATE WHAT THEY HAVE, THEY DON'T REALIZE HOW MUCH THEY ARE HURTING OTHERS, THEY JUST DON'T CARE, THEY WANT WHAT THEY WANT. THEY CAN'T SEE ALL THE BLESSINGS BECAUSE LIFE WAS EASY FOR THEM, OR MAYBE IT WAS A STRUGGLE AND THEY THINK THEY JUST NEED MORE THAN OTHERS BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE OF A SEX DRIVE THAN MOST. MAYBE THEY CHEAT BECAUSE THEY CAN'T TALK TO THEIR MATES ABOUT THE SUBJECT OR THEIR EXPECTATIONS.

    THEY ALL MAKE ALL SORTS OF EXCUSES FOR THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR! IT'S STILL BAD BEHAVIOR REGARDLESS THE EXCUSE THAT THEY CREATE SO THEY CAN GO ON AND ACT OUT YOUR SELFISHNESS. CERTAINLY ISN'T FAIR TO THEIR MATE!

    MARRIAGE SHOULD MEAN, I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ANYMORE ABOUT STD'S OR GET CHECKED FOR AIDS YEARLY. BEING MARRIED SHOULD MEAN I HAVE SOWN MY OATS AND I AM READY FOR A HEALTHY, RESPECTFUL LOVING RELATIONSHIP.

    IT HAS TORN FAMILIES APART, PEOPLE LOSE THEIR LIVES OVER ISSUES LIKE THIS, IT TEARS THE VERY FIBERS OF SOCIETY APART NOT TO MENTION THE INSTITUTE OF MARRIAGE.

    ....AND FOR WHAT? IS IT EVEN ALL THAT HOT? I DOUBT THAT!!! WHY DON'T YOU REALLY CHALLENDGE YOURSELF....TRY TO SATISFY YOUR OWN MATE!!!

    Posted by dsherielle May 22, 09 09:34 AM
  1. Hey #29 bumbly-bee,
    c'mon, for once , leave lust on #BannedinBoston
    say hai to gals for a CHANGE!!!
    YES, we want to hear from you...)

    Posted by BOSTON SUCKS! May 22, 09 09:34 AM
  1. Wow! That is just...what can I say? EXTREMELY OVERWHELMING. Even for me, a mere male. Wow! Is that REALLY what gals have to potentially put up with with us men? If so, guys, just hang it up, you have no chance! I would just say, "F" it! men are just too darned impossible! I can honestly say, that as a man, I have never, ever seen another man have that much control over the outcome of his relationships. Usually, if we are spending ANY amount of time and attention to a woman, we are quite serious, and not interested in "keeping it moving/keeping the options open/looking elsewhere", especially if we have been intimate with this woman. This, in my opinion, is part of the reason why so many of us men, especially young men, are truly hurting/suffering in this world today.....

    Posted by *O* May 22, 09 09:39 AM
  1. #49 dear chocopie,
    your vocabulary is filled with void right now,
    here's 1@time - Intimacy Without Sex is "Emotional CHEATING."

    your hubby went thru emotional cheating,
    you went thru emotional cheating!!!
    BUZZYBEEBUZZ word is EMOTIONAL CHEATING!

    Don't play the blame-game here
    on your hubby/ex-bf/bf/SO/lusty lust WLAFA
    ----tell them and GET OUT OF IT DAMMIT !
    or BOSTON wants to know, whatta ya say ?

    Posted by BOSTON SPEAK UP May 22, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Hey #49 COOKIE,
    let's not start with fore-fathers here,
    your ex-bf got his ex-fiancee PREGS,
    your hubby is getting someone PREGS right now,
    you probably are PREGS yourself!
    your bf/so is probably onto with someone today,
    your would-be is planning this wknd,
    your lust glance someone in front of you has a time-share plans for next month....
    Take a lie-detector test , right NOW!

    FINE honey, let's tear them DOWN 1@time:
    even if you get married with the best of intentions things don't always turn out the way we plan.
    your are still talking about your past with your husband,
    how HE behaves! talk to gals here sugarpie.
    do you feel hurt, resent your hubby ?
    insecurity to boredom to revenge to power over someone else's emotions ???
    BOSTON wants to know.

    Posted by REMEMBER TEAR THEM DOWN 1@time. May 22, 09 09:41 AM
  1. Hey #3 Hoss,
    YEs, Iam saying & will say it again - it was not done to you , it was not done to your friend! Make me say otherwise!
    flags are flags, @end of the day I have blamed everyone for my problems, and I have fleed the crime scene.how do you make a criminal say "Iam GUILTY"?
    not an easy one,huh?

    Posted by catch me if you can! May 22, 09 09:42 AM
  1. Hey #91 Ceej
    It's called a 'pedestal' and not a 'peddle stool'. And you can't generalize that all women are like this. I would not lower myself to cheat on my man just to get back at him. I wouldn't cheat on him period. I'd leave or seek out counseling first.

    Posted by Nosy May 22, 09 09:45 AM
  1. Hey #83 Donna/DJMcG,
    Goldberg’s “Big Five Personality Factors”
    1. neuroticism,
    2. extroversion,
    3. openness to experience,
    4. agreeableness, and
    5. conscientiousness
    can help predict which people are more likely to cheat.

    People whose personalities do not agree with the Big Five Factors are less likely to find satisfaction in a relationship, and thus are more likely to cheat,the opposite is also true.

    Posted by hey Donna/DJMcG May 22, 09 09:52 AM
  1. Is it possible to forgive a repeat cheating husband?
    You can forgive but you cannot forget you will never have trust...respect for this person...You will always feel the pang of betrayal...your whole being has been violated..You will somewhere in your heart always love this person... that is why adultery hurts so much and for so long
    1 year ago

    Posted by say it out loud if it hurts! May 22, 09 09:55 AM
  1. "He said he did it because he was unsatisfied in the passion department, and he felt stuck in the relationship at that moment." Letter Quote.

    This happens in long-term relationships, but not everyone cheats. Unless you are sure of his moral character, you will never know for certain how he will respond in this crisis situation. I believe that a solid character is a key component when choosing a life partner. This is serious business as we see with the divorce rate as it is.

    So, it remains to be seen and you will only unravel the mystery as you learn about this guy over time. I don't believe that 'once a cheater, always a cheater' because I do feel that people DO make mistakes and many times life throws us curveballs that cause us to loose our senses.

    We must be able to understand, reflect on actions taken against us (or others) are a deliberate violation of moral character or directly tied to some traumatic event. This separates the enablers & doormats from those who are truly compassionate.


    Posted by marj May 22, 09 09:59 AM
  1. Hey #105 Marj sugarpie,
    Fine, so you did a mistake by losing senses.
    but before choosing a new life partner, have you divorced the married one ?
    if you are still in trauma, you DEFINETLY need Counseling, Relationship expert or THERAPY !!!!
    Choose one , tell me gal which one ?
    BOSTON wants to Know.......

    Posted by Counselling or Therapy or Relationship Expert ? May 22, 09 10:16 AM
  1. Hi everyone, Wary in Ware here... Meredith, thanks for posting my letter. Your advice was great Meredith- it really sunk in when you said that people screw up relationships for so many reasons, but cheating gets so much attention because it's sexy. That was spot on. I think it's also because in my last relationship, I was suspicious for awhile but didn't know he had cheated for sure until after I had already broken up with him (because he was being a jerk to me.) When you're in a relationship you KNOW if he's (she's) watching too much tv, or doesn't give you enough emotional or physical love, or if he plays video games too much. But you don't always know if he's cheating on you. You might have suspicions, you might think you're just being paranoid, but short of finding the quintessential smoking gun, you just never know. And I think that's where my problem is... taking that leap of faith.
    For those of you who chide him for being honest, that may have served you well in your relationships, but to me in my life, I'll take honesty any day over "pretending" to be someone you're not. I think that in order to have a healthy, long term, stable, satisfying relationship that you need to be upfront and honest with the people you date, especially in the beginning. As one reader stated, monogamy is not for everyone, and that's absolutely fine. It's not. Unfortunately my ex-bf who cheated on me told me after we broke up that he had only ever wanted to be in an open relationship, but he liked me enough that he figured he could cheat long enough before getting caught. Um, thanks, but that information would have been really useful for both of us 4 years ago. We could have both parted ways and found happier, healthier relationships that fit our own ideals.

    I really appreciate Penelope's (#7 and #8) insight- that's also what I was looking for... someone who had cheated, had learned from it, felt bad, and changed their ways. I really liked the quote in #8- I think that's what I have been doing- I've been using my experience of getting burned before to justify my paranoid, jealous episodes. They are few and far between, but before getting burned I was completely un-jealous. Nothing short of flat-out cheating would phase me at all. He could be out all night without calling me, and I wouldn't think twice about it. Maybe I was naive, but it was blissful. And I miss that. Now I find myself getting borderline paranoid- "Why didn't he return my call" etc etc. I'm letting the burn from my past relationship infiltrate this one. I've been punishing myself for not having "known" that my last bf was dishonest and unfaithful, so I used that to justify my "looking" for examples of dishonesty or unfaithfulness in this relationship. I've looked pretty hard, and have yet to find any reasons on any grounds, so I hope I can put it to rest now and let the relationship unfold.
    So thank you, now that I know what I am doing, and why, hopefully I can stop thinking the worst. As Meredith said, there are a million reasons people screw up relationships, so now I should stop trying to look for reasons, and just go along for the ride. You guys are great! Thanks!

    Posted by Wary In Ware May 22, 09 10:20 AM
  1. Wow, Donna..... You are an absolute dunce.

    I have a bridge that I would just love to sell ya! More info to follow...

    Posted by DJMcG May 22, 09 10:24 AM
  1. I wonder how many times Cathy cheated on her husband? How about Neil on his wife?

    They cheated and will cheat again if they aren't already...wake up and smell the coffee, cheaters cheat, that is what they do.

    Posted by Feeling cheated May 22, 09 10:31 AM
  1. DJMcG / Feeling cheated,
    Get over it. Tell your friends, if you have any left. You’ll all drink and make fun of the wench. Then they’ll help you find a real man. If not, well I’m sure I can hook you up.

    Posted by Heal thyself May 22, 09 11:03 AM
  1. While I wish that honesty was always the first rule in any relationship, repeated experience has taught me that men do cheat. They also lie about it. Generally, it has nothing whatsoever to do with his current partner. The last man to cheat on me- at around the time of our 3 year anniversary- said this about his selfish decision to have sex with another: "I had the opportunity so I took it...." That's really about the most common reason why they do it, I believe. A man who sees opportunity as an open door to cheat on his unaware partner, will do it any chance he gets.
    If there is a "cheat-proof" man out there somewhere I have yet to meet that rare individual.

    Posted by Mari May 22, 09 11:15 AM
  1. I typically don't comment on these posts but since today is Friday and I'm basically waiting to get out of work for the long weekend, I figured I'd chime in here.
    I'm 30 years old and recently married...never cheated on my wife when we were dating or since we've been married...It's just not my style and I feel guilty way too easily so it just wouldn't work for me...which is a good thing.
    Now, some of my friends are not this way at all. I've seen them hook up with girls when we go away for trips or if they feel like they're somewhere where there is no chance of them getting caught. They are not married, but a few of them have been in serious relationships with their girlfriends for 3-4 years or more.
    These guys are completely "normal" guys...They have good jobs, were former atheletes in college, and most have a lot going for them. Their girlfriends would never suspect it.
    So, my advice to everyone and to the author here is that I think you should be happy that he told you that he's cheated once before in the past and that it still doesn't sit well with him today...He obviously feels a lot stronger with you and the trust must be there as well. Sure, he could have lied and said "of course not, no way, never" and you would have felt great and never gave it a second thought. Instead, you asked a question and you got an answer....Sometimes I think it's better to leave the past in the past. I really don't want to know anything about my wife's past beyond the fun stories and family stuff... I've asked questions about her college days and it still kind of bugs me even though I know it has nothing to do with me...It's just how it is I guess. So I've learned my lesson..No need to ask your boyfriend/girlfriend about their past relationships, especially when drinking, unless your ready to hear the answer and deal with it and move ahead. Look, I'm not knocking you, but you ended up writing a letter to boston.com because this is on your mind to that level. Let it be a lesson learned..sounds like you have a good thing going, just move on and let the past be the past. Even if you broke up with this guy, the next one will have a past too..and it might be someone that's cheated 5 times...would you be ready to accept that?
    Have a great weekend everybody...let's all ry to get out of work early. It's way too nice out today. Rico....keep Rico'n.

    Posted by My 2 Cents May 22, 09 12:32 PM
  1. Mari,

    I am a man that given an opportunity wouldn't cheat. I love and respect my wife and I love and respect myself too much to ever do that. Even if there was no chance of her ever finding out it would be something I could not conciously do. I would know what i did and not be able to live with myself knowing I did such a thing.

    There are plenty of guys out there just like me. You probably overlook the ones that are like me. Maybe you need to look at yourself and figure out what it is you are doing wrong? Picking the wrong men? Looking for a guy that fits a criteria and missing what it is you really want and need? Height, weight, hair or hair color, build, money, car he drives, etc...these are all things you need to realize are not what make a man a good man.

    Thank you and good luck

    Posted by Not tall (5'9") but I am handsome, athletic, and educated and married May 22, 09 01:15 PM
  1. Meredith got that answer 100% correct. Nothing to add here.

    Posted by sean May 22, 09 01:20 PM
  1. It's cheating to promise to singlehandedly meet somebody's sexual needs for the rest of their life and then fail to do so. Maybe people shouldn't make such preposterous promises to each other. Maybe it's time to relieve our relationships of the cultural burden of such unrealistic sexual expectations.

    Posted by bosfiddle May 22, 09 01:44 PM
  1. You should open up your relationship to others. That way, it's not cheating, it's sharing. Everyone wins.

    Posted by Rico Suave May 22, 09 02:23 PM
  1. Sean Dearie, Heal thyself. You Take Care.

    Posted by Take Care May 22, 09 02:23 PM
  1. There are three types of men:
    1. Those that would NEVER cheat -- representing maybe 20% of men.
    2. Those that would cheat, but are too afraid of being caught -- representing maybe 30% of men.
    3. The rest all sleep around -- no matter what they tell their women.
    That's just the way it is.

    Posted by Ronin555 May 22, 09 03:44 PM
 
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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