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Are Cheaters Wired Differently

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DanielJK posted 11/20/2020 09:57 AM

I think there is some different wiring going on.

No so much in doing things that may not be 100% "by the book." We all have our moments of weakness.

It's more in the getting caught part. How does one react when caught?

I know the feeling I had when caught doing something I wasn't supposed to. The gut feeling of regret and remorse. I imagine it was written all over my face when I was caught and I'm not good a lying. The look on one's face when caught is telling. My WW seemed cool as a cucumber. I see myself acting much differently if the roles were reversed. For one, I don't see myself blaming the victim.

And the lies. The ease with which someone lies after being caught can be troubling.

I see this in the work environment often. I've always tried to take responsibility for my actions. If I made a mistake I own it. I've seen people who make mistakes blame others, or blame the computer or the software, or blame their boss. I imagine they are wired differently. Kinda like a cheater.

sisoon posted 11/20/2020 10:30 AM

I think it's more nurture than nature.

What if cheaters are wired differently?

What if they aren't?

How does the answer impact you, Stinger?

And once the killing is over, that same person can go back to holding his child with his wife and often, totally push out all the things he did in the heat of combat.
I'm pretty sure I don't buy that. I think killing impacts most people, even - especially? - if it's kill or be killed. I've seen too much dysfunction that looks like PTSD in my (Viet Nam war) generation, never mind the WW II generation. And I don't know many vets.

We talk about how we'll always remember being betrayed. Some of the war stories I've heard - I wish I never heard them. Sure, the people whose stories they were became fathers and employees or business owners. But they definitely were impacted negatively by their experiences, and I don't see how it didn't affect them in all their roles.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:33 AM, November 20th (Friday)]

crazyblindsided posted 11/20/2020 11:07 AM

It's more in the getting caught part. How does one react when caught?

Yes this^ is the distinguishing factor.

I could have written every word you said DevastatedDee I am very similar including the cat comparison. I have put myself in harms way many times to either save another person or speak out. I was willing to put my life on the line.

I also would not have cheated before D-Day I went batshit after my first D-Day. No coping skills whatsoever just wanted revenge. Maybe it's an anger issue, but my RA was not worth it either way. I was trying to reenact justice but ended up hurting myself and my xWS in the process.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 11:20 AM, November 20th (Friday)]

ramius posted 11/20/2020 11:34 AM

Perhaps they are all wired the same way. Perhaps we all are wired that way.

Doesn’t really matter to me. You could be wired to want to drown kittens every weekend. But if you never act on that wiring then doesn’t matter. No kittens are being drowned.

But if you are a slave to your wiring....and proceed with it, then we have an issue.

Rideitout posted 11/20/2020 12:19 PM

I'm pretty sure I don't buy that. I think killing impacts most people, even - especially? - if it's kill or be killed. I've seen too much dysfunction that looks like PTSD in my (Viet Nam war) generation, never mind the WW II generation. And I don't know many vets.

Well, first off, I agree; there are a lot of people who get really messed up from killing in war. But, then again, that's a traumatic experience for, well, just about everyone. I've never killed someone, thank God, but, I've had sex once or twice, and, well, I didn't find it traumatic at all. It's trivial for me to compartmentalize that away where I think that killing someone would be difficult. I only use that as an example because it's the most extreme, lot of people have done it, and many of those people are able to compartmentalize it away from themselves and function normally after. And that experience, I'd guess, is far, far more devastating to someone than the experience of having sex.

Doesn’t really matter to me. You could be wired to want to drown kittens every weekend. But if you never act on that wiring then doesn’t matter. No kittens are being drowned.

Well, evolution didn't favor, as far as I can tell, downing kittens, so; don't think most of us are wired up to do that. Evolution did/does favor lots of sex, so, unsurprisingly, many more people are wired up to find sex a valuable pursuit.

But, your point stands; just because we're wired up to do something DOES NOT mean we have to do it. Especially if it's something grossly negative like cheating, we can resist our urges.

A good example of this, the vast majority of us are "wired up" to enjoy the taste of sugar/fat. Much like "sleep with anything that moves" has an evolutionary advantage, so does eating a lot of high calorie foods (looking back in history, of course, today, not so much). But that doesn't mean that we're all destined to morbid obesity because we can't control our urges.

However, that's probably a pretty good example because, well.. It should show you we're not very good at going against our wiring. 36% of America is obese, another 32% overweight. That wiring from the "old days" is causing us much harm today, but.. It's still there. However, there are 20-30% who aren't overweight or obese and are able to override their wiring. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that those people don't often have Twinkies by the 1000 stocked in their closets, one of the surest ways to lose weight is to make sure you only have healthy food at home; IE, AVOID the temptation in the first place. If you don't, at least for a lot of people, the "wiring" will win.


Stinger posted 11/22/2020 16:23 PM

I guess it impacts me, sisoon, in that I have become fairly adept at spotting these folks now. There are " tells" that are pretty much described in the literature on personality disorders.

IMO, the dysfunction in a cheater seldom is confined to just the sexual fidelity realm. Most that I know have significant areas other than just fidelity, where they demonstrate a lack of both integrity and empathy. So, i look for that. Entitlement is also a huge red flag and it becomes apparent fairly early if one is tuned into looking for it.

sisoon posted 11/23/2020 10:18 AM

I have become fairly adept at spotting these folks now.
That makes sense to me.

Does it matter if cheaters cheat because of wiring or because of learned behavior? Not to me....

Stinger posted 11/23/2020 20:54 PM

I suppose wiring can be affected by learned behavior.

Historicalcosts7 posted 11/24/2020 18:43 PM

MH weighing in here. I don't agree that they're necessarily wired differently. In my personal experience, I'm realizing that trauma throughout my life caused me to compartmentalize things in order to conceal them from other areas of my life--specifically my A. I was in a LTA and I definitely had many sleepless nights, feelings of guilt, disgust with myself, etc. However, in the moment when I was with my former AP I would close the to door to any other compartments to protect me in that moment. When leaving that compartment the remorse and guilt would immediately come back, only to then enter my next compartment in which I'm pretending I'm leading a normal life as if nothing else happened, and to an extent that's what I believed.

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