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Dear Em & Lo: What’s So Wrong with Cheating on My Husband?

Wed, Mar 18, 2009

Advice, Dear Em & Lo

set_him_free_signphoto by Son_of_Groucho

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve read your books and love your website, but I notice you are against any infidelity and look down on those who have affairs, but you’re okay with swinging and group sex and anal sex probes and bisexuals and all kinds of things that normal folks (who occasionally stray) find disgusting. I guess my point is, how can you judge like that?¬† You judge cheaters but support skank!¬† You know your sex drive better than I do, obviously, but let’s say your husband could no longer perform in bed due to E.D.¬† You don’t honestly expect me to believe you would go without sex or rely on a dildo for the rest of your life, do you?¬† I think that’s B.S.

What I’d like you both to know is that we’re not bad people.¬† We’re your softball coaches and school teachers.¬† I feed my neighbor’s son peanut butter and jelly on a Tuesday afternoon and have sex with her husband on Thursday night because she hasn’t let him touch her since she had the baby — THREE YEARS AGO!¬† We’re not trailer trash from the Jerry Springer show. We’re real people, ignored by our spouses.¬† We’re not evil. Give us a break, okay? After all, it’s not like you two are devout Church-going types either, ya know? You preach about free, uncommitted sex with both the opposite sex and the same sex (as long as a condom is involved) and hey, that’s fine.¬† Just don’t judge the rest of us. There are reasons for the things we do.¬† We don’t spread disease through our little suburban neighborhoods or anything like that.

– Straying Dog

Dear S.D.,

Here’s what we do judge:

  1. Lying to your husband (except when he asks if his penis is too small).
  2. Lying to your neighbor (except when she asks if her new haircut makes her look like Blossom).
  3. Lying to anyone, for that matter. And yes, faking orgasms is lying.
  4. Sex without barrier protection (i.e. condoms) — unless you’re monogamous, have been tested together, have agreed to incur the risks of forgoing barrier protection, and are using another form of birth control (unless of course you’re both trying to get pregnant together).
  5. Sexism.
  6. Homophobia.
  7. Anti-choice people who want to take away our reproductive rights, comprehensive sex education, and access to birth control.
  8. Um, we can’t think of much else that we do judge. Pleated khakis on men, maybe?

And here’s what we don’t judge (as long as it’s done safely and consensually, of course):

  1. Homosexuality.
  2. Bisexuality.
  3. Swinging.
  4. Group sex.
  5. Open relationships.
  6. Casual safe sex (so long as both parties understand and accept its casual nature).
  7. Anal play.
  8. Sex toys, including anal sex probes.
  9. Jerry Springer.
  10. Kink.
  11. Roleplaying.
  12. Spanking.
  13. Bondage.
  14. Booty calls.
  15. Dirty talk.
  16. Phone sex.
  17. Text sex.
  18. Pony play (okay, sometimes we judge pony play…hey, we’re only human).
  19. Strap-on sex.
  20. Celibacy.
  21. Solo sex.
  22. Latex.
  23. Watersports.
  24. Legal prostitution.

Need we go on? We didn’t think so. You’re right — you totally nailed us. So long as sex is consensual, legal, honest, and fully condom-ed, we probably wouldn’t judge it. But if you’re married and sleeping with your neighbor’s husband and the respective spouses don’t know about it or don’t condone it — then hells yes, we judge you! You think anal probes are skank? Well, we think that cheating on your husband — and not only that, but doing it with someone else’s husband, to boot — is 100% pure skank.

We know we sound naive when we say this. We know we’re idealists. And we admit we have no idea what it’s like to want to stay in a crumbling marriage for the kids (or for the mortgage). We have no idea what it’s like to be ignored in a marriage — or in the bedroom. And we have no idea what it’s like to be married to an inoperative penis.

We can think of a only a few very special circumstances where unsanctioned cheating might be justifiable, or at least understandable: For example, a husband suffers from E.D. and it threatens his masculinity to the point where he just completely shuts off from anything sexual and doesn’t deal with it at all it in order to keep it together psychologically, while his wife, who loves him and wants to be with him and doesn’t want to break his heart, decides to get a little no-emotional-strings-attached-sex on the side to satisfy her needs. Maybe we could understand that.

Or maybe not. We’re inclined to believe that in the majority of cases of cheating, there’s a lot of rationalizing that’s done on the part of the cheater for two major reasons. First, because it allows people the opportunity for drama and excitement in their lives (doing the forbidden thing, the taboo thing, the wrong thing always does). But that drama and excitement comes at the expense of the trust and feelings and dignity of the people they made a promise to, the people they’re supposed to truly love: their spouses. Second, it’s simply the easier way out.

Sure, it sucks if your husband gets E.D., but isn’t that the whole point of “in sickness and in health”? Also, who said that sex has to be all about intercourse? Last we heard, cunnilingus didn’t involve the penis. Same goes for handwork. And the same goes for most of the stuff in our don’t-judge list, too. We’re sorry, but we just don’t think that faulty mechanics void your marriage vows (assuming, of course, that your marriage vows included sexual fidelity).

And sure, it sucks if your husband or wife ignores you, but since when did cheating solve that? Last we heard, good old-fashioned communication was a much better tool to fix that kind of problem. Or marriage counseling. Or divorce.

If your partner just plain doesn’t want sex anymore and you do — and you’ve tried everything you can possibly think of to remedy the situation, including reading all our books and seeing a sex or marriage therapist together — then ask their permission to have an affair. (Yep, that’s right, if they give their permission, it’s not skanky — it’s just good, clean fun.) If your partner says no, then you have two options: (1) Leave them. (2) Suck it up and deal with a sexless marriage (and learn to appreciate the art of masturbation). And those are your only two options. If sex is soooooooooo important to you that you think it justifies cheating, then it should be important enough to you to get a divorce. And if your marriage is soooooooooo important to you that you can’t possibly consider a divorce, then guess what? You’re going to have to sacrifice the sex part.

If you choose option one and leave your partner, do not, under any circumstances, have an affair with someone else’s spouse. We’re all in this monogamy biz together, and it’s our civic responsibility to keep each other honest and faithful. We don’t care if you’re not spreading STDs (though you can never be 100% sure about that if people are sleeping around) — you’re still spreading lying, disrespect, and some seriously bad karma.

We know that a sanctioned affair isn’t really the “done” thing yet. But you know what? It should be! Slowly, more and more people are catching on. And we’re going to keep on preaching our honesty message until the rest of you cheaters get on board.

And that’s the gospel according to Em & Lo.

From our high horse,

Em & Lo

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136 Responses to “Dear Em & Lo: What’s So Wrong with Cheating on My Husband?”

  1. Madamoselle L Says:

    WOW! I was going to respond, but Em and Lo said it all for me. CONSENT is the key. Sex toys, and “swinging” and (really?) anal sex are “disgusting?” These, in healthy relationships require CONSENT. Meaning you and your Significant Other TALK to each other, request and agree on something and then either do it or do not do it. Really, Sex toys are “disgusting?” MAN, no wonder she thinks a most likely fixable case (or workable case) of ED is a reason to have an affair.

    Straying Dog, do you and your husband have ORAL SEX? This, and a nice Toy can tide you over until he gets some Cialis or Viagra. Hell, even if he never does, a coupla good toys and a good double oral session will do the two of you wonders. Cured my old man of a intermittent case of most likely liquor and/or “worry” caused ED. No blue pills needed.

    I, also, don’t believe for a minute that your “partner in crime” has a wife who has not let him “touch” her since “the baby” was born. Oh, well. Some of us can make a relationship work, through hard work, oral sex, a damn good vibrator,some good porn, TALKING about SEX, and did I mention hard work? And some can’t.

    30 years and counting……

  2. sleepingcousins Says:

    Cheating (on tests and lovers) is discussed at http://www.sleepingcousins.com/is-it-wrong-to-cheat/. Check out another perspective there.

  3. Mrs.M Says:

    Ok, about 10 years ago, I was forced to marry someone I did not want to marry or be disowned, and penniless. I was in school and I did not want to give up on my dreams or lose the family that, despite their departure from sanityville, had been loving and nurturing, however dysfunctional. I did the “right” thing and made everyone happy, and inside I was miserable. The first few years of the marriage I was overwhelmed and went into survival mode, pretending to go along with the flow and that I was happy when I wasn’t. I cried on my wedding night, I fake smiled in all my pictures, I sacrificed myself and who I was for what my family expected of me. I finished school, became a professional and had 3 kids along the way. I did not love my husband, and frankly, do not like him either. He was not a bad man, just not the one for me, we did not have anything in common other than the same address and the same children, no matter how I tried. I was never excited to see him, and I looked at my anniversary as the anniversary to my sentencing to life in prision without parole.
    So,approximately a year ago, a friend of mine began to share with me his set of marital problems with his wife and that he was also stuck with his children too. I was his friend first and foremost, and wanted to do my best to help him out find solutions to his problems and do the best to take care of his kids. But as we became further united in our strife, we became closer and our relationship became intimate. I know its not the ideal conditions for love to flourish, but we have been moving forward. I am there for him whether he needs help cleaning his house or cooking for him and his kids (wife doesnt do that), or picking him up from the airport when he had to rush off to a family member’s funeral (wife told him to get a cab), or even babysit his kids that not only love to play with my kids, but love me a whole lot as I do them. He was there for me when my mother was sick and would call her and visit her even more than her own son-in-law would, take my kids out to eat and play for the day when I was sad after my mother died, send me cards and fruit baskets just because, call me first thing in the morning and be the last person to tell me good night. I finally got to fall in love, but the situation is all wrong. I’m unhappily married as he is and we don’t want to destroy our families for our children’s sake. I have no idea what to do and I used to judge people who cheat too, until I found out that people like me can cheat too.

  4. Mrs. A Says:

    Dear Mrs. M, I read your Nov 29 post.
    That is a heart wrenching story. I felt distant and unloved also from my husband and started hanging out with another man and though I am a conservative person, it didn’t even feel wrong at the time.
    I did not want to be deceiving though so I filed for a divorce.
    Nothing changed until we were to go to court and then my spouse seemed to do a 180 degree turn.
    I ended up reconciling with my husband though I thought it was impossible.
    I can understand not wanting to hurt the children.
    All you can do is pray to God for guidance.
    Best wishes.

  5. Rei Says:

    Mrs. M,

    By any chance is religion, or culture have to do with you being ‘forced’ into marriage? Nobody should be forced to do anything. Here is an idea, and it may not work, but just think about it:

    Divorce your husband. Have your ‘intimate friend’ divorce his wife. You two get married, and have your ex meet his ex. Maybe they will fall in love, and all your children will still be in your lives. Kinda twisted, I know. But it can happen. You should do what you feel is best, not what family thinks you should do. If you always do what someone else thinks you should do, you might as well be their ‘pet dog.’
    Get out of your marriage, and see if your friend can do the same. People should first do the right thing and break up or get a divorce, and then proceed with being intimate. Your kids will understand later in life, once they start understanding true love.

  6. jerry Says:

    Sex is playing important role in mariage but
    Mariage is not just about sex or atraction.

  7. Jerseyboy Says:

    Many people tend to forget that marriage, by definition, requires patience, humility, and SACRIFICE. As far as I know, marriage vows say “for better, or for worse”, not “as long as you’re happy, honey!” Many loving and enduring relationship have had to weather adversity (sometimes PROLONGED adversity). Unfortunately today, many feel so entitled that the marriage vows don’t seem to mean much of anything to some anymore.

    Cheating is cheating, PERIOD. I am only human, so I know i am fallible, but I think I’d rather kill myself than let my selfish indulgence be the cause of pain for my lady. And… If my desire to be with another woman ever became that urgent, I’d either… A. Discuss it with wife and perhaps compromise (threesome, etc.) or B. Get over it and enjoy what i DO have.

  8. Bonnie Says:

    Mrs. M. I was the child of that marriage. Trust me, we can tell when you aren’t in love. It doesn’t matter if you don’t argue, or if you put on a smile for the kids. I can remember at the age of three wondering. Get a divorce. We’ll understand. Nothing makes me happier then the smile on my father’s face with his new wife. They were made for each other in ways my mom and him just aren’t.

  9. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Re: Mrs. M. There is a balance between trying very hard to salvage a relationship to someone you really really love, and staying with someone you NEVER loved out of….what? A “love” of money? I am sorry, but I just don’t get the “I’d be left penniless if I did not marry him.” SO? My parents didn’t give me money when I moved out (they were divorced, and didn’t seem to have any) I WAS “penniless.” (most young otherwise middle class people start out this way) I finished college, and married a likewise “penniless” man whom I LOVED.

    I would NEVER marry for money, and it seems Mrs. M did so. Many of us here in the US, and other Western Nations, have had to make our own money and make our own lives. I’m sorry that Mrs. M. was going to be cut off from her parents’ and inlaws money if she didn’t marry the man she never loved but SO WHAT? Most of us make our OWN way in the world. Most of us don’t have rich relatives to depend on, and in the long run, especially if those relatives expect us to marry people we hate, IT’S JUST BETTER to make your own life. Sorry, but blaming “culture” is a bad excuse for bad behavior which really harms people.

    My father was old world Mediterranean. I had dated only ONE man from “our” culture in my life, and didn’t want to marry him. I went back to the man I was first in love with, from an “other culture” in my early 20s (we had never actually made a complete break, it’s a LONG story)

    I used to hear, “Can’t you find a nice (insert ethnic group here) boy?” I’d just say, “Nope.” and carry on what I was doing. There wasn’t money involved, but there was “TRADITION” (my father, when he was wed to my mom, was the first to ever marry OUT of his ethnic group in his family and his neighborhood, and it ended badly, so he was convinced, well, you know) I just ignored the ethnic pressures, and My Man and I made our own way. Not a “penny” from our families. We made our own pennies. And dollars. That’s actually how MOST people manage their lives.

    I just can’t see marrying for money, “Culture” or no culture. People LEAVE their home countries to get away from the bullshit of restrictive “cultures” in a lot of cases. Your kids will KNOW you don’t love each other, and they will eventually figure out you are cheating.

    You want advice (you thought I wouldn’t give some?) Dump the man you can’t stand, GET AN EDUCATION and make your own way in the world and live on what you CAN make yourself. JMHO.

  10. Madamoiselle L Says:

    I said: “Many of us here in the US, and other Western Nations, have had to make our own money and make our own lives” THAT wasn’t right. Most people IN THE WORLD have to make their own money and thier own lives. No matter where they live.

    I’ll never figure out “The Rich” and the way they think (or rather rationalize) if I live to be 104.

  11. zeema Says:

    re:mrs,m iam married too!have a good life a 3yr old son,my husband he acts immature a lot of time,i feel like i have 2 kids,i always wished that i would have a matured &understanding husband!well now the place i work i met a guy ,who just had a devorced&right now he dating 10 girls at a same time,he asked for my number,i gave it to him &now we see each other,we also kissed!he is still dating a lot of women,iam attracted towards him only with just that 1 kiss !makes me want him more,i am preety sure he will be good in bed too!but now i dont know what to do?i so want to have sex with him but iam feeling bad about cheating on my husband,need help!

  12. todd Says:

    Just seconding Bonnie’s comment. My parents were in a loveless marriage most of my upbringing (though my older siblings say it wasn’t always like that), and A) my sister and I knew, though we wouldn’t have known how to explain it, but what we thought we knew was B) THAT is what marriage is supposed to be. My sister ended up in a loveless marriage that lasted for a long time and only recently ended, and I have spent the entirety of my 20s and the better part of my 30s fearing commitments lasting too long, as what is subconsciously ingrained in me is that passion and love don’t last that long. I know logically that isn’t the case, of course, but at 35 my longest relationship has been a year and a half…

    So when people say “we’re thinking of staying together for the children”, I usually reply “you should break up for the children”. Trust me, they’ll have a MUCH better picture of what meaningful relationships are if you do.

    As for the cheating question, to me it’s never a question. It is lying and betraying. Period. If you don’t have the balls to talk to your spouse, then either end the marriage or suck it up and don’t cheat. I realize we are all human and fallible, I’m not perfect by any means. But though I have been cheated on and I have been the other guy (which I regret), I can honestly say that I have never and would never cheat, because what’s the point of having the relationship in the first place if a bit of sex is worth more than it?

    (This is no judgment on polyamory or discussed outside relations/play, those are situations where everyone involved has had the right to decide what they want; if you cheat, you are taking that right away from your partner)

  13. Emily Says:

    As the wife of a man who was cheated on in a previous marriage, I can say without a doubt that it can be earth shattering for some people. I love my husband dearly, but I also know that he’s not the person he could be today because of what happened. If you love and are devoted to the person you’re with (not just married to), you’ll do whatever it takes to make them happy. End of discussion.

  14. Mel Says:

    As described by the dictionary; cheating is lying. And you cant change that, no matter how many excuses you have it is cheating! Now Because I’m sure both of you are adults and consenting adults then hey if that’s what you want to do then, go right ahead. Just remember a cheater does not cheat once, if he or she know they did not get caught then it becomes a habit were they continue to cheat hopefully the next person you cheat on is not him and the next person he cheats on is not you! As long as you understand your consequences of cheating then hey by all means have fun! But be very aware, it’s all fun and games until you are the one that gets hurt. Trust me, it’s not a pretty feeling when your the one asking were have you been all night and who have you been with. :) have fun, and remember what begins wrong will most likely and wrong. I wish I would’ve listen to the many many who told me it’s not the best idea but sometimes we have to try it for ourselves and that’s how we learn even as adults.

  15. Janet Says:

    I cheated on my first husband because he also had ED. He was a brittle diabetic who didn’t take care of himself nor did he take his insilin. I eventuantly divorced him and married the person who I was having an affair with. We had a child within the second year of marriage but it failed right after I had her. Because she was born 14 weeks early and I almost died he decided to walk away from us both. I stayed single for a while until I decided to go out and marry my friends ex who turned out to be an okay guy but he has bipolar and alot of anger issues so sex is out of the question. We do have a son which I gave birth to him a year in to the marriage. But even though sometimes I get really frusterated with him and sometimes I want to flee from him because of his manic moments I would never cheat on him. He doesn’t have ed, he is just not into having sex. We haven’t had sex in almost a year and I had a total hysterectomy since then as well so sex isn’t really that important in a marriage it is and it isn’t. If your that horny and you need to get the big O to satisfy your needs by all means MASTERBATE!!! you think the grass is greener on the other side? It;s not.

  16. brian Says:

    The problem with that position on the high horse is you can’t really see what the cheaters partner is doing to the cheater.. Are they really disfunctional? or are they using their stamina else where? So are they being honest? or mearly staying with the relationship to be near the perks? (be it money status or whatever) Honesty is such a rear comodity, one can never really tell, because as you have already noted, ED can be assisted by a number of remedies.
    I do side with the light horse brigade though, if you want to cheat, rather just get out of the relationship. It’s better for your own mental health.

  17. susie Says:

    hi, iv ben married for 36 years , my hubby has never had a high sexdrive ,about 15 years ago things started to get worse were having sex maybe 3/4 times a year and it was getting more difficult for him to maintain an erection, about ten years ago things came to a stop altogether , and have staed that way , he was never into oral so these days i get nothing nt even a proper kiss he gives me a peck on the lips as you would a sister , we went docs a few years ago who sad there was nothing wrong and advised my huby to try certain things , he flatly refused saying that nothin would work , he loves me i know and i love him .but what am i meant to do. im only 54 now ben like this since i as 44 , im loking for a lover as iam so bad tempered , yes toys are good bu they carnt give u the human touch

  18. emand lo-iq Says:

    WOW. This is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. You are worried about consent when half the things that take place in our country do not involve consent. Yes, please search my car officer. Anyways, really ignorance is bliss. If my wife is cheating and I dont know about it, im fine in my own world. I would die happily. If I find out about it, well I am still fine because life goes on. Its called adapting. Its a shame most people are too emotionally fragile to ever comprehend adjusting to a situation, for instance if your mate died in an accident tomorrow. Most people do not understand the mentality of the other person, which thinks he is doing the right thing by staying with the original person. In reality, cheating is really just evidence that you shouldnt be in the relationship you are in because you are not happy. However bad secrets are made to be, I assure you unclean practices are far worse. These people have no morality, yet they profess it by attempting to judge in the first place, and especially by dictating that somehow lying is worse. A sin is a sin no matter what. In either case, keeping a secret is not lying. Learn to use a dictionary, they are 2 different words and meanings. I am glad everyone is happy with their anal gangbangs, its clearly what people that have no intellect do. It is sad when you try to use your brain and this is what comes out. Thanks for cheering me up about my own intellectual wisdom on these subjects

  19. Josh Says:

    THANK YOU! I was overhearing a girl on the bus the other day claiming that because her boyfriend kept forgiving her for cheating, she saw no sense in stopping! It’s a disgusting and disgraceful act!

  20. B Says:

    @emand lo-iq
    FYI, in this country the police can’t search your car unless you consent to it.

  21. Johnny Says:

    ^ Wuh? Wrong. Hope you don’t carry.

  22. Kristen Karma Says:

    I love Em and Lo!!! Judge on to the secret cheaters! Have you guys heard of cheatervill.com? I saw it while doing relationship research for a school paper and think that all those shaddy people totally deserve to be called out! “whats so wrong with cheating on my husband?” is such a horrible question, why get married in the first place!

  23. ryan Says:

    Honestly alot of cheating is soap opera romance novel bullshit all the passion makes it seem justified but in the rnd is never. Many people trll the truth about their feelings that led them to infidelity but dont unferstand that its emotionally more complicated and simpler logically than what they say. Many things can add to the pressure of extramarital sex I wont say them we all know them but chain reactions happen often amd to extremes in emotional relationships like these which means once you cheat it will probably get worse wheter your partner knows or not but by the way they do. The best thing for a healthy you and ahealthy relationship is honesty no matter the cost ignorance has the highest cost even if its your partner who is ignorant to what is going on. In my opinion cheating is a way for a person to add drama to their life for excitment. Also Igrrw up in a house hold where my parents weren’t in love it is apparent to every child when its like that and it sets a bad example adds stress and confuses children it is a horrible reason to stay with someone you don’t love. I understand the christian american point of view wher you have a strong family and nothing breaks it up but honestly its not a reality and if your cheating you really don’t care that much about your faith any way its just an excuse to have something you want but is looked down upon by peers or you. So for your lovers sake your childrens and especially your own tell them how you feel. And what’s happening or your goifng to be very unhappy. Also shut the fuck up with your insults you dirty slut

  24. Heather Says:

    Mrs. M

    I grew up in a very religious community and didn’t have any friends with divorced parents. For as long as I can remember I wished that my parents would have gotten a divorce. They waited until I was in my 20s and I ended up being the parent to my younger sisters. Do it now while your kids are young enough that you wont ditch them, and maybe they wont remember how miserable their family life was. All throughout high school I joined every sports team and club that I could to stay out of my parent’s house. You are NOT doing the right thing.

  25. robertdmoores Says:

    Wow. I just subscribed by email purely on the merit of this post.

    I ended up on Em and Lo searching for a simple answer to a simple question, and then followed a few links to this. I am inexpressibly impressed with the integrity of your answer, and with the authority with which you offered it! GREAT. WORK.

    Cheating is not a problem because of sex. Cheating is a problem because of dishonesty. Because of cowardice. Because of laziness. Because of disrespect.

    I only know one side of this story: I’ve been faithfully married to an incredible wife for almost 11 years, and we communicate. But for all you cheaters who are quick to point out that I only know one side of this story: SO DO YOU.

    Honesty and communication work. You just have to have the courage to try them, instead of pitying yourself and trying to find an easier way to deal with your issues.

    I am not famous, but if I were, I would create an institution solely to be able to present Em and Lo with the Robert D. Moores Institute Integrity Award, 2012.

  26. K. Haki Says:

    As a man who wears pleated khakis, I am deeply offended by your post.

    K. Haki
    President,
    International Organization to Support Pleated Khakis on Men

  27. This is great Says:

    The comment above this one is the one worth reading.

  28. michael Says:

    The defensive nature of this comment rings more of inner uncertainty than anything else. One would guess that your feeling a need to compare and justify your acts with those of others truly shows the shaky ground you stand on.
    Rather than worry about being judged simply reckon with the honest truth of your actions.

    Though I would never advocate cheating I’m actually looking past that. Why waste your time,or your husbands for that matter. Why not pursue a relationship with someone of like mindedness about the value of truth,and trust in a relationship. Someone who would cheat on you as well,and thereby eliminate the need to justify your actions. It would be consented deceit.

    If that’s sounds odd, or emotionally suicidal then perhaps you need to consider two truths…

    One, you are knowingly doing something that if done to you would not be acceptable.

    Two, you may have answered your very own question you’ve posted here.

  29. Jermaine Says:

    I believe that adulterers, be it man or woman, should either be put to death or have their genitals removed and face disfigured.

  30. alison Says:

    Well… Mrs.M’s story resonates with my situation. I am not here to ask permission or change anybody’s mind. However conditioning, family background etc play pivotal role in situations like this. Forced marriage at a very young age, forced pregnancies with many children as a result, business built up together, years of sexual neglect, his infidelity etc… I constantly ask for a divorce without much luck (I think mutual agreement on this subject is important) and I am pretty sure he’ll turn into a demon if I were to go down that root without his consent. Asked for an open relationship which he doesn’t want because of his ED as he’s not interested in having sex anymore. He knows that I have somebody else but prefers to ignore it. In any discussion I am more than willing to be honest and he knows it, but prefers to avoid delving into the facts. I don’t think he minds terribly about what I do as long as I am discreet. Doesn’t matter how beautiful or clever one is he has never loved me: married me so he could have a domestic slave, surrogate to make children and all the rest.
    I’ve been in a relationship for over a year with one remarkable man, whom I love in every possible sense. But I don’t see anything changing any time soon. I consider myself in an open relationship where all the information one wants to know is only a question away. Good luck to MrsM

  31. Tony Says:

    I thought I’d add my 2 cents. I agree completely with Em & Lo. I was in an abusive marriage where my wife would emotionally and verbally abuse me. Her exact words 2 years into the marriage were, “I don’t love you, I don’t trust you, and I’d rather be raped again than have you touch me.” Needless to say, I went years without any intimate contact with her (she was interested in sex twice several years later and was angry at me both times).

    After multiple failed attempts at marital therapy where she kept arguing with the therapists, I divorced her (and continued with individual therapy for years after separation to get my head on straight and figure out why I was putting up with her abuse).

    The bottom line – I never cheated on her. I didn’t sleep with anyone even during the separation (but before the final divorce) during a 3 year divorce proceeding.

    If you want to betray your partner’s trust and sleep with someone else without their permission, I think that is wrong and you should either get their permission or get a divorce.

    For those people in a destructive marriage that doesn’t match their inner values, GET OUT. I found that my fear of divorce was far more than the pain of going through a divorce, and going through a divorce was both much less painful than my abusive marriage and that the court system was, to me, incredibly reasonable compared to my ex. I am currently alone (I’d prefer not to be, but that is where I am right now), and am looking for a partner who is not just a really good friend and a creative and passionate lover (my ex was those 2 things initially), but also (and possibly most importantly) a good partner who is emotionally insightful, responsible, fights fairly, and can and is willing to work on a relationship as much as I do.

    I do have a young daughter. I have found that I am a FAR more attentive and responsive father to her now than I was during my marriage. During my marriage, I was barely surviving and had nothing to offer my daughter. Now, I can give her the love and attention and guidance that I believe she wants and needs. If a marriage is somewhat functional, staying together for the kids might be worth it (but I really don’t know), but if your marriage is truly broken then remember that your children will model after what they see you doing. Had I stayed, my daughter would have grown up assuming that a battered man is what her future husband should be, and she deserves far better than that.

  32. Dave Says:

    Trust is a key factor in a happy marriage .
    Cheating is when you break that trust , Swinging is something couples do together . Having sex with your secretary after work and coming home late is deceitful and cheating . Having sex outside the marriage has to be done openly . A woman whose husband suffers ED and no longer tries to make love , may reasonably permit his wife to have sex with another man . Likewise a man whose wife no longer wants sex , may be permitted to have sex with another woman .
    Creeping behind a partners back , when the is no need and it is not for a mutual pleasure is hurtful and wrong .

  33. Dustin Says:

    Only want to say that it is not our place to judge, only observe and form an opinion (yes there is a difference). Anyone who has committed adultery has absolutely no right to say anything or ‘preach’ about it. If you have that mark, it is always there. Nothing you can say or do will ever take it away. Being a person that will not lower my standards of living, I will never cheat. Much like I will never rape, murder or steal. Sodomy is wrong, by natures very definition. The anus is even specifically designed to prevent and external penetration. These other ‘sexual acts’ describe, swinging, watersport, three ways, etc. They are also barbaric. We don’t live in 2500 b.c. We have a good ethical bases for almost all subjects and have had it for thousands of years now. We did marginally well until shortly after the 1st world war. We maintained decent control for thousands of years and in the last hundred you all have destroyed it. Reduced us down to animal like sub-humans. No one addresses these issues anymore. Its all live and let live. Fornicate with everyone while your at it. Marry a dog and take some drugs along the way. When we get rid of the Law, chaos ensues. There is no point to life if you live this way. You are wasting your time and your chances. Stand tall, we are the light of the world for crying out loud.

    Good day.

  34. bob Says:

    As a 50 year old married man who is battling both a cardiac issue and as a result of all those meds, new onset uncontrolled diabetes, I have now developed E.D.

    The original poster seems to feel that because of E.D., she should be able to cheat. That is pretty obnoxious. A marriage is supposed to be about two people who love each other. Cheating somehow doesn’t include love for the person being cheated on. Kindly don’t use your spouse’s illness as an excuse. Do the right thing and divorce him. Anything else will lead to tragedy.

    Another idea is to have an honest, open discussion abou it. Consenting adults can have open relationships as long as everyone involved knows the stakes and the ground rules.

    I have offered to the beautiful woman who I married this option. I’m grounded enough to accept my own limitations, though I continue to try and resolve them. She, to her credit did not take this option but appreciated my feelings on the matter.

    We have developed other ways of being intimate without going the route of cheating and deceit.

  35. Wil Says:

    When I was 71 year old I had a massive stroke and as a result got ED. I told my beautiful sexy wife to go take a lover. She found a very sexy guy to satisfy her needs and I am was very please as she became content and happy again. 3 years later her lover is still fucking her on a regular bases and her lover and I have become good friends. There is no jealousy in fact listening to them make love is very beautiful and at long last my health is improving and I am starting to get mild erections again. We had a threesome the other day which was very enjoyable and hopefully it will lead me back to being a useful lover to my wife. Even if I get back to good health I would not ask my wife to break up with her boyfriend as she gets so much pleasure from their very sexy sessions together

  36. Johnny Says:

    ^ When my boner eventually fails, as they all eventually do, I hope to be as selfless as you, Wil.


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