Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: Arcangel

General :
It’s not cheating if there is no sex?

default

 DailyGratitude (original poster member #79494) posted at 6:07 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Something 1st wife wrote about EA and cheater’s views on it got me thinking because my story is similar

Many years ago my ex had a year plus EA that involved few pecks on the lips, hugging, gift exchanging, movies, theaters, fancy meals, and thousands of hours spent together but no sex. He wanted to have sex with her but she wasn’t interested She just liked the fun and the gifts.

Therefore he claimed and still claims to this day that what he did was not cheating. He believes it is not cheating/affair if there is no sex. Let’s just say for the sake of the argument that there was indeed no sex between my ex and the woman.

So What are your thoughts on EA without sex? Are the betrayed overreacting?

And why do many cheaters believe so firmly that EA isn’t a big deal?

I ask these questions for many reasons but one of them is this. Because my ex didn’t think his EA was a big deal, he had zero remorse after DDay. He didn’t do anything I asked him to do to help me heal. In fact he continued to travel with her saying nothings going to happen. Therefore I built a wall and our marriage suffered. So I blame myself for his most recent affair and departure. I feel like if I had understood where he was coming from (EA= not a big deal) then maybe I could have dealt with it better. Maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe I should have been forgiving and put the effort into the marriage.

Then maybe he wouldn’t have cheated and left and I wouldn’t have to go through this immense pain.

[This message edited by DailyGratitude at 11:19 PM, Tuesday, June 14th]

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8740163
default

DragnHeart ( member #32122) posted at 6:23 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

EA = affair!

They are giving away their time, energy, focus, money, thoughts, feelings etc to someone other than their spouse or SO.

To me that's so much more hurtful than just a romp in the hay.

Sharing intimate emotional stuff that was meant just for me....definitely an affair.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)
Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 24274   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8740167
default

Ffsjacrispy ( new member #80362) posted at 6:28 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

I’m no where near as smart or as experienced as the others in this forum. My opinion though is as soon as you are doing something with someone else outside of your marriage and you wouldn’t do this in front of your spouse it is cheating.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Jun. 2nd, 2022   ·   location: Michigan
id 8740171
default

Summertime22 ( member #79796) posted at 6:36 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

GD ((hugs))

Please do not blame yourself. My WS had an EA, when I found out I went completely crazy and shouted and swore at him, refused to take his calls. I realise now that when I refused to take his calls he called her that is when he left me. I blamed myself so much- if I had been calmer/had been willing to talk/less emotional it might have changed the outcome.

I know now from IC that we are wired to blame ourselves, we should have loved more, tried harder. We believe that if we really show them enough love they will realise and want to stay- but sadly that isn’t true. They have patterns in them/attachment disorders and us loving them more won’t change that. It’s a very hard lesson to learn.

Please don’t blame yourself. An EA is cheating, it’s deception, it’s lies and hatching plans behind your back. It’s not honest, it’s self serving deceptive behaviour from someone who is not honest with their heart or yours. My WS EA was the worst thing that ever happened to me and we have the right to be angry, upset and also to put boundaries in place.

You didn’t do anything wrong. He did. Nothing you did caused this. Please don’t go down the road of self doubt. I know it’s hard not to, but please don’t. Sending you strength.

posts: 111   ·   registered: Jan. 16th, 2022   ·   location: UK
id 8740175
default

Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 6:38 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

As someone who is a MH, I was the one who had not one, but two EAs during the course of our marriage. To be honest with myself, I didn't believe what constituted the first EA was actually an EA at the time, I probably sound like your Ex-WH, although I didn't go nearly as far as he did. I've never once laid hands on that woman, but I realize that in retrospect, especially after reading "Not Just Friends" and doing a lot of introspection, that yeah, I let her have a part of me that my wife never got, which most certainly made it an EA. My wife had an EA turn into a PA, and she is right that my second more recent EA would've been a PA if distance and obtaining travel visas had not been a factor.

EA's are infidelity, just the same as a PA. You will find some around here on SI who will tell you that EA's are actually harder to deal with than the PA. I think they are both equally crappy to recover from. They are just affairs either way and the reasons they happened are the same, the WS has crappy boundaries and they feel entitled to chase the affair, whether it be emotional or physical. There is nothing you could've done to cause or prevent your XWH from having affairs. It was and always was under his control not to cheat on the wife to whom that he swore fidelity.

Myself - BH & WH - 35 years (05/24/1985)Her - BW & WW - 34 years (05/25/1986)<P>D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8740176
default

Hannah47 ( new member #80116) posted at 6:55 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Please reread what you wrote:

He wanted to have sex with her but she wasn’t interested
(…)
Then maybe he wouldn’t have cheated


He would’ve physically cheated with the first girl as well, if she had wanted him. So, how can you blame yourself?!!

Betrayal is a betrayal. Betrayed often underreact.

posts: 35   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8740182
default

PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 7:28 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

I consider cheating to be a violation of relationship agreements. It doesn't have anything to do with sex, in my opinion.

That being said, in a monogamous relationship I think that a good rule of thumb would be that if you're hiding it from your spouse then it's a problem.

If it was no big deal then why not be open and honest with you about it from the start?

In some cases? Yeah, I do believe that a BS is overreacting. Men and women can be friends and have it be entirely platonic. I have, and have always had, very close male friends- even when I was in a monogamous relationship, and I never cheated. That being said, some people simply don't have the healthy life boundaries to be able to interact in a platonic manner without starting to develop romantic or sexual feelings.

So I go back and forth on this one. I believe it's not only healthy but generally important to have close relationships with people that are not your spouse. I believe that relying entirely on one person for support isn't a positive thing. I believe that gender shouldn't be an issue with friendships as long as people have healthy boundaries, because otherwise bisexual people wouldn't be allowed any friends at all? I believe that I, personally, would not want to be in a relationship where I have to keep an eye on my spouse's connections if I can't trust them to have appropriate boundaries. I'd rather end the relationship then ask them to wall off from a segment of the population. But that's my opinion, and that and $2 may not even buy you a cup of coffee anymore.

Ultimately, everyone has to decide what works for them as an individual. Sometimes I think the line between an EA and a close friendship is pretty blurry, but in my opinion, a close friendship does not involve romance or romantic love, or sexual tension (in a mono relationship).

Your ex sounds like he had a sugar baby relationship. I would definitely consider that to be outside the parameters of a monogamous relationship.

Relationships are squishy. You get to define for yourself what the difference is between a friendship and a relationship. What would you consider those to be? I'm sure sex would be one aspect, but I hope it wouldn't be the only one.

You are NOT WRONG to feel the way that you do. You don't need to blame yourself. All issues aside, you talked to him about something that bothered you, and he brushed you off to do what he wanted. Does that sound like a caring partner? Why should you feel like you need to put effort into understanding where he's coming from, when he put zero effort into understanding where you are coming from? That's not how healthy communication works.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 4 years) & DBF (dating 3 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 819   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8740189
default

 DailyGratitude (original poster member #79494) posted at 11:00 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

statement below!!! it woke me up!

thank you so much

i think this is how my relationship with my cheater was throughout our entire marriage

Why should you feel like you need to put effort into understanding where he's coming from, when he put zero effort into understanding where you are coming from?

[This message edited by DailyGratitude at 11:01 PM, Tuesday, June 14th]

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8740230
default

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:01 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Many years ago my ex had a year plus EA that involved few pecks on the lips, hugging, gift exchanging, movies, theaters, fancy meals, and thousands of hours spent together but no sex. He wanted to have sex with her but she wasn’t interested She just liked the fun and the gifts.
Therefore he claimed and still claims to this day that what he did was not cheating. He believes it is not cheating/affair if there is no sex. Let’s just say for the sake of the argument that there was indeed no sex between my ex and the woman.

For reference, my wife attempted to take her EA physical and was also rejected. It was definitely an A. I would say at the time my wife did not yet consider it one even though she was trying to make it one.

So What are your thoughts on EA without sex? Are the betrayed overreacting?
And why do many cheaters believe so firmly that EA isn’t a big deal?

I think that an EA is a terrible betrayal, I thin that the existence of worse betrayals is semi-irrelevant. Comparison that it could have been worse is almost always a form of minimization.

You were stabbed in the back. Any minimization is going to be something like this:

"I only stabbed you once"

"It was a small knife"

"You're wound isn't even life threatening"

"It's not serrated"

"At least I didn't twist it"

Almost all cheaters do something to justify or rationalize an affair as "not that bad". EA or PA, they will still minimize, justify, and rationalize.

I ask these questions for many reasons but one of them is this. Because my ex didn’t think his EA was a big deal, he had zero remorse after DDay. He didn’t do anything I asked him to do to help me heal. In fact he continued to travel with her saying nothings going to happen. Therefore I built a wall and our marriage suffered. So I blame myself for his most affair and departure. I feel like if I had understood where he was coming from (EA= not a big deal) then maybe I could have dealt with it better. Maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe I should have been forgiving and put the effort into the marriage.
Then maybe he wouldn’t have cheated and left and I wouldn’t have to go through this immense pain.

He was already trying to cheat physically in his EA. His behavior never changed, and nothing you did would have stopped him.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1946   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8740231
default

 DailyGratitude (original poster member #79494) posted at 12:00 AM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

you all so much!!!!
I tell myself that I cannot blame myself for the A and sometimes i am successful in believing myself and sometimes not so much. Therefore, it’s incredibly helpful to hear your perspectives and experiences. I know you guys do not sugarcoat anything…. My friends and family tend to take my side as to not hurt my feelings. BUT need to hear the WHOLE TRUTH even if it hurts. So thank you for your honesty.
The way you guys phrase and see things gives me the clarity I need.
Thank you and i am sorry that i am so needy these days.

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8740238
default

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:30 AM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

There is emotional cheating, financial cheating, sexual cheating, etc.

If you steal from your employer there is no sex but it’s still lying & cheating.

I want to smack every lying cheating idiot who uses that line of thinking.

If I was smarter I would have D my H after his first four year EA. The fact he would not admit he didn’t do anything wrong showed his true character. And his ego.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12110   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8740247
default

Adolfo ( new member #79193) posted at 1:04 AM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

It's all cheating... The1stWife described it really well in the comment above. However, different degrees of cheating affect me differently. My wife (then fiancée) cheated a few times long ago before we were married. One of the first things she would do was just jump right into bed with them. Seems all they had to do was start taking her cloths off. She had no inhibitions about having sex early in a relationship, a cheating relationship or otherwise. On the second affair, she ultimately left for the AP, but after two years we reconciled.

I would have been much less hurt and angry if they had only been EAs. These were not situations that could be described as just friends under any circumstances, but my healing would be easier without the physical part. Having sex outside the established relationship with another in a cheating relationship, in my opinion, is the ultimate betrayal. Either way, it is an affair! And it is cheating!

[This message edited by Adolfo at 1:07 AM, Wednesday, June 15th]

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jul. 28th, 2021   ·   location: NC
id 8740254
default

morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 1:22 AM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

posts: 348   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8740255
default

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:43 AM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

I agree that people are entitled to have friends and interactions with others outside the marriage. That is healthy for all parties involved. No one person can provide you with everything in life.

That’s why we have friend circles. And different friends meet different needs.

However………an EA is a different animal in my opinion. An EA is where your spouse/partner shares more with that person. The emotional investment is more than what is given to the spouse.

The spouse or partner is no longer "the go to" person. The EA AP becomes the priority for emotional support and that is where the cheating occurs.

When your spouse spends time and energy on someone else — it’s cheating. When your spouse devotes all of their time to a hobby or sport to the detriment of the family — it’s cheating.

All those people who are addicted to video games (as an example) are cheating their families out of their time and connection b/c the video game takes the priority. Not the family. Not the marriage or relationship.

The issue with my H’s 4 year EA was that the OW was madly in love with my H. It was OBVIOUS. I knew it from the moment I met her. She pretended to be my friend. She pretended to be his friend but she wanted more.

My H didn’t love her. But he loved the ego boost and the attention she gave him.

And for 4 years he confided in her more than he confided in me. I was just stupid and naïve to accept it.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 11:45 AM, Wednesday, June 15th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12110   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8740294
default

survrus ( member #67698) posted at 4:16 PM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

DG,

You wrote, Therefore he claimed and still claims to this day that what he did was not cheating.

Perhaps he is a bit of a narcissist or something like that and will not allow even the slightest tarnish to his reputation. So not only was it not a PA, it wasn't even an EA, he was already preparing his story to tell others in case you tell them first?

Perhaps that kind of cheating was normalized in his family?

Perhaps it was really a full blown PA and he was shutting down all communication by going on the offensive.

Kissing is physical btw, a peck on the lips? That's something I did in first grade.

He was likely also in denial about what this affair was doing to the OWs family and marriage.

posts: 1154   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8740323
default

nervousnelly ( member #58359) posted at 11:32 PM on Thursday, June 16th, 2022

I agree with all the others who have said an EA is cheating. You spend time, money and energy on someone other than your spouse sharing things you should be sharing with your spouse. A betrayal is a betrayal whether there is sex involved or not.

My WH spent hours and hours hanging out with, texting, and calling his "friend". But the thing is, I didn't know about this "friend" until I did. He hung out with her, spent hours talking on the phone and texting while he was traveling, while I was working and quite frankly while I was sitting in the same room as him! I am sure they talked about the state of their marriages (she is divorced now) - talking about me, our kids...our life.

At times I feel if he had a PA only vs. EA I wouldn't be as devastated, but while I cannot prove whether he had a PA or not, I can only deduce that since they spent a lot of time with and talking with one another that something physical did occur. That's the worst part of this.

I also think he doesn't think it is that big a deal (EA)...but I can guarantee that if the tables were turned and I was the one who did this he would feel differently.

1. Expect nothing and you won't be disappointed.
2. Learn to love yourself.
3. Listen to your gut.

posts: 278   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2017
id 8740530
default

BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 5:22 PM on Friday, June 17th, 2022

My fWH had online affairs with 3 women--including sexting with pics and video with 2 of them.
I'll never forget the day we were in an MC session (maybe 3 weeks out from DD2) and I casually used the term "girlfriend"...something along the lines of "as you were creating girlfriends...." He interrupted and stopped me cold and said very indignantly, "They weren't girlfriends!" My mouth dropped open. I could NOT believe he didn't see it, but he really had been that deep in denial about these relationships. He had never allowed himself to acknowledge that they WERE girlfriends.

So I said, "You flirted with them. You checked in with them all the time and shared problems with each other. You sent texts about what sexual positions you preferred and what you'd like to do with them. You gave one a gift. You sent intimate pictures and videos. How was this not girlfriend/boyfriend behavior? If you were single, isn't this exactly what it would be like to have an online girlfriend?"

He sat there shocked and said, "I guess I never thought about it like that before." Wow! Lie to yourself much, dude??? The self-deception is shocking!!!

Your XH?

...a few pecks on the lips, hugging, gift exchanging, movies, theaters, fancy meals, and thousands of hours spent together but no sex. He wanted to have sex with her but...


Dating behavior? Check, check, and double check!
Dating behavior (even if it doesn't lead to physical sex)= having a girlfriend/boyfriend= cheating.

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?
No, I ain't happy yet.
But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrs
Both in IC & MC
Married 31 yrs now
2 kids-both in HS
Attempting R

posts: 161   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8740725
default

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 6:03 PM on Friday, June 17th, 2022

Here’s another litmus test.

If you don’t do or say it (to another person) in front of your spouse, then you know it’s wrong and crossing the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior in a marriage.

In many cases that is lying by omission and is also cheating.

It’s deceptive behavior at a minimum. And we all know where that leads.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12110   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8740734
default

whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 6:43 PM on Friday, June 17th, 2022

I think he's using semantics to justify what he did. Secret relationships and time and money spent on a secret special someone is cheating, sneaking, lying and betrayal to the primary relationship he was supposed to be committed to. It's dumb logic, just like nobody knew so nobody got hurt. Wrong. Most articles I have read support this as well, that any secrets within a marriage are infidelity and are a danger to the relationship.

In the wake of my discovery, when I was still being gaslit, I was told lots of minimizing things, like the sex ended years ago but they remained friends with the inference that there was nothing wrong with maintaining the friendship. That was a huge lie, since she was a friend he got naked with a lot. So I got real specific with the semantics myself. Secret friendships with anyone, of any sex, under any pretense, whether just social or friendly or an affair is deception and cheating and a violation of the pact we have as friends, spouses and partners. I had to work to to drive my point home, because I will not have this explained away or minimized in any way, and I've had a foot out the door for a while.

The only reason your H didn't have sex was because she wouldn't put out, so he was literally trying his best to woo her and cheat on you, his plan just didn't pan out. His pretzel logic is invalid. Until he admits and owns what he did as wrong, you may not be out of the woods yet. Defensiveness, minimizing, mansplaining are all red flags for me and I'm still fighting the occasional flare up in our R. I wonder if some spouses just can't get it?

Hang in there! You are not wrong.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 382   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8740741
default

BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 11:52 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022

After someone is married, they should not be dating or courting other people. End of story.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 781   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8740995
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20220428 2002-2022 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy