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emotional infidelity

Okay, so I'm reading a certain book where some cheating happens - characters that I have been in literary love with cheated, like wow cheated. I finished the book and was so angry I wanted to punch kittens - and I still do. I'm going to be doing a Book-Addicts.com blog about emotionally charged reactions to books, but stemming from this book I've had a few conversations and an eye opening situation happen. So I thought I'd tackle my thoughts on emotional infidelity.

Cheating. I hate cheaters. There's a lot in the world I'm willing to forgive - cheating is something very difficult for me to forgive. It's a complete stripping of trust, no matter if it's someone I'm dating or if my best friend’s boyfriend cheats on her or if I'm best friends with the cheater; to me it says something about their character and as a default - I become wary of trust. There are always extraneous situations, and I won't even begin to claim that I react this way to every situation, but there is always a moment when I utterly question the trust and faith I have in that person.

So what is cheating? What's your definition of cheating? Is cheating a physical action? Or are thoughts enough? Would stolen time or warm-fuzzy-feelings for someone else constitute cheating?

There are a lot of options to consider when labeling someone a cheater. The most obvious is the physical act of cheating on a significant other. You can't deny what happened, maybe the circumstances, but the act happened. But what about emotional infidelity? Cheating that happens in the mind and heart; is that wrong?

I can't help but think about that infamous SmartBitches post recently where a boyfriend questioned his girlfriend’s stash of romance books. The blog is about another avenue, but it proves a point; some people will claim that romance books and porn are cheating because the mind and emotions are elsewhere, not on the significant other. There are people who ascribe to the ideology that thinking about another woman with interest of any sort - is cheating.

That's an extreme side - I sort of wanted to point out the obvious and the extreme, so now I'll hit the middle road which is where most of my questions and thoughts are centered.

In high school I often found myself in the role of "the best friend" the "girl who was one of the guys". Do you know how much that sucks? Thank GOD I woke up and got out of that rut when I hit college; yes, I had guy friends but I was no longer friends with them for the wrong reasons, and I didn't allow them to think of me as one of the guys unless that was the friendship I wanted. Unrequited love is brutal.

You know why I think a lot of those guys considered me part of their "best friend" tribe back then? Because looking back there was something missing with their significant other that I provided. It was high school and most of it was dumb, but it's the illustration I have on hand at the moment. The boys physically dated someone else, but when they wanted to talk about stuff or go do stupid stuff their girlfriends wouldn't do - they called me. And silly me went along with it because one day they'd wake up and realize just how awesome I was. (They never did, and I probably wasn't all that awesome if that was how I was pining after them.)

Later on in life, I found myself in a very odd love-square. I was friends with people who were dating other people, heck - I was dating someone else, and yet emotionally I connected on a level with someone who was not my boyfriend to such a degree that I knew it was wrong to be dating one person but harboring feelings for another.

Feelings happen. We're going to feel things for people who are not our significant other; it's how you handle it that matters. But is there a line of right and wrong? How do you know where that is? You can't really tick off emotional boxes looking at someone - only the person feeling can do that and even then we get our own synapses so crossed and rewired we confuse ourselves. If you've ever seen He's Just Not That Into You, there's a story arc of a married man who has a friendship develop with a woman who is not his wife; there's a point in the movie where he pulls back and says something to the affect, 'This is wrong'. The woman questions him about having female friends - are they wrong? But the friendship wasn't the issue - they both knew the issue was with how they were feeling about each other. By spending time with the other woman and developing feelings for her the character was cheating. Okay, other stuff happens but that's later on.

Drawing the line around emotions is hard. It's very subjective and murky. What I think of as cheating emotionally won't be the same for someone else - and that's where it gets hard to handle, to understand and deal with.

I don't think I answered, explained or stated any questions very well, but I put ideas down and right now that's what matters.

0 thoughts:

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Grew up traveling to rodeos with my parents. I've gone across the world thanks to my gypsie feet. I feel sometimes like I've done everything & nothing. I've played roller derby, traveled parts of the world, have four degrees. I've done some things most people will never do in their lives & still I want to do more. I want to work with orphans & teenagers again. I'm a Christian. I have a lot of tattoos. I like art therefore I want to be art. I love people. I started writing years ago when I was a kid. I think at the time it was an outlet for me; I found escape in my word & the worlds I created. Eventually I just started to like creating stuff & that's when I started sharing it with other people. Now I think I write every day. I want to do NaNoWrMo this year. I'm also learning how to knit. I think I'm on my way to being an eccentric old woman who runs around the world doing silly cazy things and knitting while she does them. Be on your guard I have knitting needles!

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