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Why Men Cheat

Sandra Prior
Aug 13, 2008
Cheating is not one of those things that you cold heartedly decide to do. There is, generally, no mental to do list that reads; return DVDs, buy milk, engage in an illicit sexual relationship. It's just one of those things that happen while your conscience is looking the other way.

My conscience was definitely not the part of me doing the thinking the night it happened. I had been in a relationship for two years and admittedly things weren't ideal. The two year mark is a pretty precarious time in relationship terms. It's around that time that people start saying, 'Wow, you guys have been together forever,' when they see you at parties, or, 'Geez, why don't you guys just get married?'

I met my three night stand in a bar when my girlfriend was away for the week-end. She was cute, funny and just the right side of obnoxious. She challenged me at pool, beat me, mocked me, and dared me to challenge her back. We spent the evening shooting pool, laughing and chatting. Suddenly she smiled a dazzling smile and said, 'Let's get out of here.' Let's just press pause at that moment to consider her proposition, 'Let's get out of here?' Even in Klingon that's singles talk for 'Let's have casual sex,' but I was trying to rationalize the situation. 'She just wants to hang out, she's being friendly, we're friends, just friendly friends,' I thought lamely. 'I mean, I don't really like her in that way. Sure, she's got gorgeous eyes and that amazing body...'

It was around this time that my conscience started to wake up. 'Who are you kidding?' It spluttered. 'This is gonna be trouble.' But we go for a drive and she suggests we go up Signal Hill because it's summer and there might be fireflies out.

Despite Having a Natural Talent for it, Men don't want to be the Lying Bastard Guy

And so it happened. On a moonlit hill overlooking the city. And it was great. 'It was only physical' is what you're supposed to say to justify cheating. But for me it wasn't. I really did like her. After Signal Hill we hung out in a huge house she was house sitting for the week-end. We lay and read by the pool, listened to music, shared long baths. Strange as it sounds, it was every one of those intimate moments, and not the sex, that feels like the real betrayal.

The Morning After

Then came Monday and the cold light of reality. A cursory 'It's been fun' shut the book on the fling. Which left me alone with my conscience. No hangover could possibly match the grey, throbbing remorse of cheating, and unfortunately a greasy breakfast accompanied by two Myprodol was not going to take it away. Did I feel guilty? Horribly. Like I had a butter knife twisting in my chest.

Meeting my girlfriend at the airport was torture. 'What did you get up to over the weekend?' she asked, smiling. 'Watched the soccer,' I croaked. That week, my relationship with my girlfriend, the relationship I had expected would disintegrate and thereby justify my actions, seemed to repair itself spontaneously. Which just made the whole thing worse. My guilt intensified, my self image plummeted.

The way I saw it, you basically get two types of guys in relationships; there's the stand-by-you kinda guy and there's the lying-bastard kind. The stand-by-you version brings you chicken soup when you're ill, listens when you try to explain your intricate love-hate relationship with your best friend, and sits through any film without complaining. The lying bastard puts you down, forgets your anniversary and, yes, cheats. With one bad choice I felt I had swapped sides.

Saying it like it is

Guys understand guys, so in miserable desperation I went to talk to my friend, John. Despite what you've been told, there's not an all encompassing boys' club that delights in exploiting and deceiving women. If we're out of line or making a stupid mistake, our friends tell us. What he said was simple. I could probably get away without telling her but, if I tried to live the lie, the chances of feeling good about myself in her presence were likely to be minimal.

So I told her. She shouted, screamed, exploded. And that was the end of our relationship. True, the relationship wouldn't have lasted anyway. Despite having a natural talent for it, we men don't want to be the lying bastard guy. And the only to avoid that is, well, to not lie and not be a bastard.
About the Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.
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