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Could infidelity be normal?

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TX1995 posted 6/18/2019 11:04 AM

I think it's even more common than the statistics say. I was contemplating all of the people I know who have divorced - my parents' age, my age, and I can think of only one that didn't have to do with infidelity. (And that was a gay man leaving his wife after 20 years because he was gay - and who knows maybe there was infidelity!) My parents? Dad cheated. My friends? All either cheated or were cheated on. Neighborhood friends? Cheating. My BIL said no, but his ex-wife told me she suspected it and had gotten a letter about it. (BIL would never admit to it, as their parents are extremely conservative and judgmental).

I think infidelity is normalized, that strip clubs and porn and keeping secrets about these things is rampant in relationships, and even prostitution is glamorized. How many college kids that go to Europe after college graduation talk about visiting the red-light district, or the ones that visit Mexico on Spring Break talk about the live sex shows. AND THEY LAUGH ABOUT IT. And as a girl and young woman, I didn't think too much about it. Gross, but more in a dirty kind of way, not a this is a horrible, slippery slope to wayward thinking kind of way. Affairs on TV and movies are glamorized, or brushed off. As a society, we don't see the total devastation and damage that these betrayals do. And we definitely assume that OTHER PEOPLE are the assholes who like that kind of stuff. The guys that "locker-room" talk, not MY guy. I knew some of our guy friends were douchey but never in a million years would I have thought that MY husband would be that douchebag too.

But I think that some people are just naturally principled. And we are the ones who instinctively know to keep boundaries and protect what is important to us. The ones who cheat unfortunately spent years sliding down that slope and feeding their egos and self-esteem from the outside until they didn't care anymore about protecting anything, even their own integrity. It's a fire that starts small (lies about nothing infidelity related, small ways to cheat the system, letting your principles go b/c no one will "get hurt") and then burns the whole foundation of your life down.

Rideitout posted 6/18/2019 11:10 AM

well not normal but happens more than you think

What's "normal". 10% of people? 20? 50? 75? IMHO, once you cross into the 30+%, I think you're venturing into "this is normal". And infidelity certainly crosses that barrier. I think that looking at statistics, infidelity is somewhere between a "common outlier" to "common". Like my previous example, are brown eyes "normal"? Yes, they are. And more people cheat than have brown eyes, so, I think it's pretty easy to draw that to "normal". Just like being overweight is "normal" now; no, it's most decidedly not a good thing, but, yes, it's normal, especially in many areas of the US.

I think it's even more common than the statistics say.

I do too. It's one of those things that leads itself easily to "lying to look good" on a survey. But, looking across the men I know, almost all are or have cheated (again, this is self-selection bias in many ways because of the group I socialize with, but still, approaching 100% tells you something). Women, I have no idea, I know my SIL cheated and my W, of course, but other than that, I don't really have any idea for other women because I'd never get myself into a situation to talk about that with a woman. And there are the "false idols" like my WW who, nobody in the world except for me, AP and OBS know is a cheater. A lot of "under the radar" stuff happening, which, of course, further skews the stats.

[This message edited by Rideitout at 11:15 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

The1stWife posted 6/18/2019 11:28 AM

Well if that is your thought that it’s okay because “everyone is doing it” then that will rationalize crime and theft and murders and cheating to get into Colley, etc.

I guess if your friends jumped off the bridge you would do it too. Something my mother always said.

Sorry - I prefer to be a better person than that.

Ripped62 posted 6/18/2019 12:06 PM

Normal: conforming to or according with, a standard, rule, or principle.

Humans have "normalized" a myriad of deplorable behaviors, actions, and atrocities in various cultures and societies throughout history. Just because X % of individuals in a population behave in a certain manner does not mean the behavior is "normal" or should be normalized.

Adultery is common but not normal. If it was normal there would be no need for all of the deception, manipulation, and corresponding wayward behaviors. Cognitive dissonance would not be so prevalent in wayward individuals because it would be normal.

A spouse when going out would simply tell their partner they were going to a gang bang and all would be okay and the marriage partner would be glad to watch the children while the other spouse committed adultery.

If it was normal Jimmy you would not be expressing the pain and trauma caused by your wife's betrayal.

This forum would not exist.


Booyah posted 6/18/2019 13:05 PM

"Do what makes you happy"?

I love ice cream and pizza and fries and beer etc etc, and it certainly gives me pleasure (makes me happy) when I have this stuff. That said, I also know there are CONSEQUENCES for indulging in this.

Thus I have boundaries and I know that if I don't keep these boundaries when partaking in this stuff I will get fat, feel like shit, lethargic, drunk and countless other things that aren't good for me.

God (yes God) created me as a man (NOT as an animal) so he gave me the ability to think about the big picture (consequences) as opposed to just acting out by what's in front of me and driven by emotions.

Was meeting new women fun and did it make me "happy" when I was single? Absolutely!!

That said, nobody put a pistol to my head when I decided I wanted to marry my current wife. So I have to live with myself and the decisions I make and I can't live my life driven by what makes me happy on a daily basis and sleep with every beautiful woman that I come in contact with (or eat whatever I want or F off every day and blow off work because hey I want to do what makes me "happy".

It's called responsibilities and if you don't set strong boundaries and know who you are everything around you will come crashing down.

When I was a child I fucked around but when I grew up I laid the childish behavior down.

Most people are animals and playing life like it's checkers (driven by whatever is right in front of them). Others (myself included) are viewing life like chess. Using the brain that God gave me to weigh the pros and cons of decisions I make.

If I cheated on my wife it would destroy ME!!!
The guilt alone would be devastating.

There are a lot of broken people out there who are trying to numb the pain any way they can (cheating, drugs, food, porn, alcohol, etc etc). It's extremely sad.

"Normal"?

Who's to say what is "normal"? The majority of people may be cheating out there but that certainly doesn't make it right.

Rideitout posted 6/18/2019 13:15 PM

Well if that is your thought that it’s okay because “everyone is doing it” then that will rationalize crime and theft and murders and cheating to get into Colley, etc.

But "everyone", or even a significant minority of people AREN'T doing those things, where they are cheating. I don't know anyone who's murdered someone and, as far as I know, don't know anyone who's cheated to get into college.

If you want an apt comparison, cheating would be more like driving too fast, or even driving after having one too many. Lots and lots of people do it. It would be a challenge for me to find someone who hasn't done these things. Now, I freely admit, adultery is different, I certainly do know some people who haven't done it (myself included). But it's much closer to driving drunk, something we all know is wrong but many of us have done at some point in our lives. Let me say, I hate this comparison, cheating is SO much worse than driving too fast, I'm NOT trying to draw a comparison between "wrongness" of the two actions, just the level of common these things, which we all agree are wrong, happen in our society.

Hephaestus2 posted 6/18/2019 13:32 PM

>>>> I had to back off of my wife or I was going to run her off ... she did not think we were going to make it because I was not getting over it. I had to work hard to put it behind me and I had to keep some of my anger and sadness to myself or I would have lost her. <<<<

You were not REQUIRED to back off or to swallow your anger. Those are some of the things that you agreed to do to keep the peace and to preserve your marriage. Right now, you know that your wife threatened you with divorce if you didn't "put it behind you" and that her threat succeeded. In time, you will find out how long you were able to keep your marriage and the price you have paid for it.

cocoplus5nuts posted 6/18/2019 13:37 PM

Adultery is common but not normal.

Good point. Although, I think it has always been normalized in certain circles. It's always been normal, to an extent, for men to have mistresses. Of course, women weren't supposed to have the equivalent, but they did.

In some societies still today, men are supposed to have multiple wives. The wives aren't given a choice. Today, it seems to be not only accepted, but encouraged, to have a "side chick". When did that term come about?

64fleet posted 6/18/2019 13:37 PM

Every couple IRL I know has had infidelity, save for a few old couples at church maybe.
I feel foolish for believing that bullshit at the wedding. Just empty words, IMO.

fooled13years posted 6/18/2019 13:39 PM


Could infidelity be normal?

If it is then, to steal a quote from Young Frankenstein, I am Abi, Abinormal.

WornDown posted 6/18/2019 13:41 PM

Not normal - common.

Normal means not only common, but accepted.

Definition of normal (Entry 1 of 3)
1a : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern

b : according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle


Which is different than common:

Definition of common: occurring or appearing frequently : FAMILIAR
a common sight
b : of the best known or most frequently seen kind —used especially of plants and animals

4a : WIDESPREAD, GENERAL


Unfortunately, it is common, but it is not (generally) accepted as OK. Thus, it is not normal.

[This message edited by WornDown at 1:41 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

bookworm19 posted 6/18/2019 14:01 PM

I think, this debate is more about the linguistics, but infidelity really is common and ubiquitous.
It sure doesn't feel normal to some of us and very normal to cheaters, obviously.

For me, it's ubiquitous. And at some point it will be normal, I'm afraid. Hopefully long after I'm gone

[This message edited by bookworm19 at 2:02 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

Chaos posted 6/18/2019 14:03 PM

I don't think infidelity is normal.

I do think it is sad that society/media/etc. has normalized it.

Hephaestus2 posted 6/18/2019 14:05 PM

Infidelity is not normal if by normal you mean that infidelity is typical, usual, or expected. Infidelity is atypical, unusual, and (almost always) unexpected. Infidelity is the exception, not the rule. It may not be rare but it is uncommon. When we say that two people are married, part of what we mean by "marriage" is that they are having sex with each other but not with other people. Almost everyone agrees monogamy is an important part of marriage. Unless otherwise specified, almost everyone assumes married couples are monogamous if not all of the time then most of the time. Almost everyone agrees that if you are married, then you ought not be having sex with other people. By any measure, there is a lot of agreement about the importance of monogamy in marriage.

Married people who are screwing around often want to believe that monogamy is less common than it really is and they often want to believe that infidelity is more common than it really is. They will tell you that infidelity happens in all places and that it always has, as long as humans have existed. They will tell you that monogamy is "unnatural" and that humans are not designed to be faithful. They will point to their genes and/or their DNA. They will point to other cultures in which polygamy or open marriages are common. And on and on. Sometimes people who have chosen to remain married to parters who have been screwing around would like to believe that infidelity is "not normal". It can help betrayed spouses to get through it too.

People who break norms typically want to believe (and want you to believe) that breaking norms is common. Everyone is doing it.

whatIknowNow posted 6/18/2019 14:13 PM

Is breaking a solemn commitment "normal"?

I don't think so.

People who cannot remain faithful always have the option of not entering into such a commitment.

Rideitout posted 6/18/2019 14:33 PM

Infidelity is not normal if by normal you mean that infidelity is typical, usual, or expected. Infidelity is atypical, unusual, and (almost always) unexpected.

Infidelity is quite typical and usual. Statistics tell us this, it's a part of a lot of marriages. The numbers vary depending on the study, but, it's "a lot" of marriages that will see infidelity, that much is certain.

I do however, agree with one point, it's never expected. But perhaps it should be. If I gave you gun with 3 out of 6 chambers loaded to play Russian Roulette, would it be "expected" that gun goes off? Well, it should be, it has a 50/50 chance of going off each time the trigger is pulled. Now, we can all spend our time on the "happy thoughts" that "it won't happen to me" but many of us (myself included) would be wrong. Yes, it's still a tragedy if you wind up shooting yourself, but, most people would look at that and say "what did you expect" playing that game with half the chambers loaded?!

All of this sounds like I'm apologizing for affairs, I'm NOT. There are tons of "normal" human behavior that I find absolutely awful, affairs are right at the top of the list. But it's so common, yes, it's hard to say it shouldn't be "expected" in a marriage, particularly a marriage that has additional risk factors (lots of time apart, high income, very good looking spouses, etc). It SHOULDN'T be something expected, but, statistics tell us, you should be ready for it because it's so common. Just like you should be ready for divorce when you get married because that is also so common. An "expected outcome" of marriage has to be divorce if we're being even a little intellectually honest with ourselves. Of course, this is pot calling the kettle black, because I wasn't the least bit "honest" with myself about the possibility of my W having an A. Totally blindsided. But if I'd let the numbers tell the story (which I almost always do), I really shouldn't have been. I was listening to her words and then comparing those words to the things I knew about A's from my band of friends and coworkers, I didn't see the appeal there for her, and I believed her words.

I should have believed the numbers and the statistics.

Cheatee posted 6/18/2019 14:40 PM

Almost every woman I know well has experienced at least one episode of some sort of sexual assault in their lifetime.

From my perspective it is common (sadly).

But I would never use the word "normal" to describe such a despicable act.

crazyblindsided posted 6/18/2019 14:42 PM

I should have believed the numbers and the statistics.

Right? I should have just believed that based on what was modeled to me by family and family members, but I still thought me and WS would be outliers.

MalibuBayBreeze posted 6/18/2019 14:53 PM

Common? Yes. Normal? No. But who is this fucked up world can define what normal looks like anymore?

Maybe there is no God, maybe there are no sins, maybe we are just passing thru and we should go for it. Do whatever we want to do when we want to do it. Are there really consequences?

Maybe there isn't though I believe otherwise. Am I practicing formal religion such as going to church each Sunday? No. Does that mean I don't have faith? No. I am more spiritual and I don't need to be within the confines of a church to believe. Besides I find a lot of the holier than thou crowd to be extremely hypocritical. So no thanks.

Whether infidelity is normal or not, loyalty is normal to me. I think the selfish, arrogant and abhorrent behavior being conducted by so many is disgusting. There's nothing sexy about porno selfies and videos. Especially when made by people for or with someone other than their spouse. I would be instantly turned off by a dic pic and if I were dating, that would be it. Show me a guy in jeans, a hard working man, a man who loves animals, who has a kind heart, who can be happy sitting by a fire pit and THOSE are the things I find sexy. Less is more in my book. Leave something to the imagination.

So should people commit murder? Rape? Pedophilia? Incest? Domestic, child and animal abuse? Should society completely run amok because there may or may not be a higher power? Or should faith keep people grounded? Should they have integrity and know right from wrong? Who wants a world where no one gives a flying fuck and does whatever they want? Not me.

So while so many seem perfectly happy to live in the "normal" existence of being a lying, back stabbing, cheating POS, I'll pass and be abnormal. To consider such behavior normal is wandering into Red Pill territory and that line of thinking is the epitome of selfishness.

To have infidelity considered normal makes me sick to my stomach.

KingRat posted 6/18/2019 14:53 PM

I have been reading on here for the last two years for several hours a day. At first it was very comforting to know that I was not the only person to have been cheated on. This site helped me realize that I was not alone with all of my grief. But the more I read the more I think maybe infidelity is a normal part of life. It seems like everyone is doing it. There are literally millions of posts on here about infidelity. I also look at quite a few other sites about infidelity. I am sure millions of people are out there going thru this but have not found this site.

If you hang out at AA meetings it would probably seem likeit is normal or common to have a drinking problem. Jimmy, please take care of yourself. A marriage is not worth poisoning your outlook on life. You don't have to accept this.

[This message edited by KingRat at 2:54 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

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