What would you find more difficult to forgive your spouse/partner for? And why?

1. They have a casual fling.  Maybe something that happened one drunken night at a conference. They confess all.  Apologize. Swear it meant nothing and will never happen again.

2. They had a long-term love affair. Fell in love with a co-worker or something, carried on for a year or so, but it’s all over now.  The other person is gone.  They Apologize.  Swear it will never happen again.

16 responses to “Adultery

  1. I’d have a harder time forgiving the long-term affair. There were multiple occurences and many times to re-consider or break it off, but it didn’t happen. As opposed to the “oh my god was I ever stupid last night” conference fling. People make mistakes… that’s inevitable. But when they make the same “mistake” over and over again, you have to wonder about their overall commitment to your relationship, their self-discipline, intelligence, integrity, or all of the above. Potential deal-breakers, all.

    With a long-term affair there’s also emotions involved, whereas a conference fling probably would be purely physical.

  2. Long term love affair.

    This isn’t “stiff dick has no conscience” time, drunk or sober.

    This is a long term commitment to someone else, even if they did want to have their cake and eat it too.

    It’s over – a permanently damaged relationship.

  3. Long term affair…not even close!
    One timer oops and maybe forgive and forget .. maybe.

    Long time affair, uh no way would forgive and forget.

  4. The long-term love affair, because the pure logistics of it required conscious and ongoing deceit, trickery and disrespect. I could never forgive that.

  5. Okay, I’m definitely going against the flow here…but I think it would be harder to forgive the casual one night stand. I would have a hard time believing that it wouldn’t happen again because in my mind, he risked everything for one stupid night. Our life together couldn’t be too important to him, now could it?

    A long term affair where he actually cared about her…that would be easier to understand and (I think) easier to forgive. Lord knows I’ve loved more than one man at a time and felt horrible when one got hurt. I also made sure that I never hurt him again. Hopefully he would keep his promise and not do it again either.

  6. I’d kill the bitch for either one (metaphorically speaking, of course). If she wasn’t careful, the door would hit her in the cheatin’ ass on the way out.

  7. The long term… they’re both betrayals, but the amount of deception and lying someone has to do in order to keep that secret is basically a job. You have to work to keep your partner oblivious to what’s going on. Someone spending that much effort and time is just a sowing a weird level of hate towards their partner.

    I don’t think the short term affair is particularly forgivable either. There’s a level of trust that must be maintained in a partner relationship, it’s basically on par with the relationship we’re supposed to have with our parents. If a parent beat you once, maybe you get over it and start trusting again but the memory will always be there. Some parent beats their kid for a year, then apologizes and says it’ll never happen again… not so much trust after that.

  8. You’ve all made excellent arguments for the ongoing lies and deceit of the long-term betrayal.

    Debra went against the grain and I’d like to add to that because it speaks to the kind of person your partner is. As Debra said, if he’s (or she) the kind of person who can so casually betray you for “meaningless’ sex, there’s an excellent chance that this wouldn’t be the first or last time. He/she has cheapend your whole relationship. There couldn’t possibly be any trust there anymore.

    The long-term thing is maybe a bigger betrayal on the surface, because of all the lies, but because he/she has betrayed you for “love”, doesn’t that somehow make it more understandable? We all know how insane “love” can make you at times. You can be fairly certain that this isn’t going to happen again and I would suspect this adulterer is more remorseful.

    Of course there are degrees of long-term relationships. The worst is probably the person who’s carried on a long-term affair with someone they care nothing about.

    And I’ve know people who’ve forgiven all of the above, once, twice and even over and over. How do they do this?

  9. In the past, I’ve not forgiven, and I would never be able to live with either of these scenarios, regardless of whether the appropriate word here is ‘forgiven’ or not.
    It’s about commitment, and either everybody’s IN, or they’re not.
    If the relationship has slipped to the point where one or the other actually has time enough on their hands to get so far progressed into another relationship which requires that level of personal involvement or intimacy (and even a fling requires intimacy), then something else is already missing from their ‘committed’ relationship, and probably can’t be repaired.

  10. JB – That’s very black and white. And it may even be true, but there are plenty of people who’ve found a way to live with it for whatever reason. I find that amazing, but I guess they feel they still have enough to work with regardless of this period in their relationship. People go through a lot of different stages throughout their life and maybe part of commiting to a relationship means carrying the other person when they’ve strayed from it, but want to come back??

  11. yes, I see that point XUP, if one slip up means throwing the other person out, which one would be in the wrong more?

    if someone’s contrite or not, long term or short whoops, feelings happen. for one person it may be a major breech or social contract, or not.

    it may be an indicator of needing more communication, more acceptance, more affection, more support, love, etc. to then reply with intolerance in hurt could hardly go in that direction.

    if one can be open and look together at how and why and look at what each is getting and wanting, keep the lines of communication clear,…look at what’s working.

    long-term relationships are complex and hopefully offer more on more levels than any brain-stem yank.

  12. XUP, if someone betrays me for “love,” then they’re not only lying to me and betraying me, but they’re also using me. If they’ve stumbled into love elsewhere, the respectful thing to do is to end our relationship and give up whatever benefits they derive from being in a relationship with me.

    That’s my theoretical opinion anyway. In real life there are subtler shades of grey.

  13. Pearl & Zoom – I think what you’re both saying about the differences between theory and reality is valid. We can speculate on what we would so (perhaps, should do), but when it actually happens, who knows?