As children we saw a cheater as someone who broke the rules to win and learnt sex outside of marriage was wrong. Then as an adult we saw a cheater as someone who significantly benefited when they skirted their moral, though not necessarily a legal obligations. However, as we became adults the black and white definition of cheating became diffuser. No longer was cheating black and white as it was when we were children. As we became older and started dating we learned cheating was not a religious issue, it was not a moral issue, but an issue based on definition. We learned cheating was based on applying the context of the situation to our beliefs.
If you were to ask a 100 people what is cheating in a relationship you will receive 100 different answers. This means there is no universal or widely accepted answer for cheating. Instead cheating comes down to the couple’s definition and their boundaries. For this article cheating means intentionally or recklessly violating the agreed or implied boundaries.
Boundaries for this discussion means, the implied and agreed limits of behavior. This means boundaries become established through repeated interaction and communication. By having established boundaries, it serves as the foundation for the defining cheating and if the boundary is violated then cheating has occurred. This brings up the question what is an intentional violation versus an unintentional violation? Intentional means a knowing or reckless disregard for the boundary. An example is:
Couple A, Joe & Mary, set a boundary for a threesome that it will be soft-swinging with no vaginal penetration. The threesome occurs and in the heat of the moment Mary allows vaginal penetration. Does this mean cheating has occurred?
The starting point here is the boundary, of no vaginal penetration, and from Mary’s action her behavior clearly violated the boundary. However, without more information, it is possible the boundary may have been an unrealistic boundary that would have been broken.
An unrealistic boundary means the boundary would have been broken because maintaining the boundary would not be possible. It is possible, in this scenario, the couple did not consider the impact of arousal on decision making and Mary allowed penetration to occur because she thought Joe would enjoy it, based on his responses during the soft-swinging experience and Mary thought it was impractical to stop the threesome so that she could speak to Joe about it. Does this mean Mary has cheated?
The above scenario highlights an important aspect of boundaries and the definition of cheating, intention. Using the above fictitious couple lets assume they have another threesome and set another boundary for a full threesome, oral sex is acceptable provided the male does not cum in Mary’s mouth. Nonetheless, during their threesome the male cums in Mary’s mouth, does this mean Mary has cheated?
On the surface it appears that Mary has cheated but there are two questions that need to be answered. First, was the male a quick ejaculater? Meaning, he came too fast to allow her to react and essentially this was an unnecessary boundary. Second what knowledge did Mary have about him being ready to cum and did she have sufficient warning to prevent him from cumming in her mouth? In this author’s opinion the above scenario may mean there was no cheating because there was not intention.
What does this all mean? It means cheating is defined by established boundaries but it is dependent on the context of the actions of the individual. It is possible that a boundary is violated but no cheating did not occur since the individual’s behavior did not show they intended to cheat. Therefore, in planning a threesome it is necessary to consider the boundary and then consider how realistic that it will be followed in the planned threesome. Without taking the time to consider the impact of a boundary it may lead a couple to put in place boundaries that may make sense but are not practical thereby creating unnecessary conflict in their relationship.