Reflecting on Affairs: the Fantasy and the Fallout

by Eva Sless - 31 July 2015 - 33 Member Comments

There's been a lot of talk recently about infidelity and cheating and what it all means, especially in the context of this modern day world of the internet, technology and instant gratification. The lines between faithfulness and disloyalty seem to be getting more and more blurred. What with sexy texts, and online flirting, and the popularity of sending naked photographs, many of us seem to be getting confused and worried and, at times, a little in over our heads. 

Adult Match Maker offers a range of options to create your perfect experiences - we don't judge, nor do we condemn those who play outside the rules - but we did want to address the topic and have a look at what it all means to you, and your partners.

What Is Infidelity 

Whether you class looking and/or flirting as cheating or you draw the line at actual sexual contact, when it comes to being unfaithful the specific act itself is irrelevant and is something that is individual to each person and relationship. The crux of it however, the definition given by almost every person I spoke to, is the same. It is the breaking of trust and crossing the line you have both agreed on. A lot of times the problem comes quite innocently from not drawing clear lines in the beginning of your relationship, but there are many times when the line is crossed quite knowingly, and sometimes the consequences of this can be very damaging to yourself, your partner and your relationship as a whole.

To me, cheating is doing something you would only do with your partner with someone else. I'm not talking about going bowling or watching Sense8 without them, I'm talking about kissing, touching, Romantic gestures and activities of a sexual nature. - Anna

Any physical or emotional attachment to another person behind your partners back is cheating. Obviously physical contact is the worse of the two. - Callum

Cheating is deceiving another person whether physical or emotional – Julie

To me cheating is whatever you think it is within the relationship you are in. If you think flirting is cheating, that's cheating, if it's sex, it's sex. And if you do something that you wouldn't tell your partner about because they'd think you cheated on them, then you have. - Penny

I think anything that your instincts tell you to not tell your partner about constitutes cheating. - James

Why Do People Cheat?

I spoke to quite a few people while researching this piece and one of the questions I asked was “why?” because, although I have been cheated on in the past, I myself have never cheated. (Except for once. And I was 14 years old. And I broke up with my boyfriend the next day. And the boy I kissed is now my husband... But I digress...) 

I really wanted to understand why people did it. The answers I got were varied. There really is no one reason and, even though it's a more common thought, it often has very little to do to with the person being cheated on. I know the time I found out a partner had gone behind my back the first question I asked myself was “what did I do or not do that led them to that?” It wasn't a not-enough-sex thing, because I've always been very generous in that area, so then the internal worry of “what's wrong with me” would begin. “Am I too fat?” “Am I too ugly?” “Do I not turn him on?” “What could I have done differently?" But the thing I found out in the end was, it wasn't about me. It wasn't about what I lacked or what I couldn't provide, it was purely about him and what he wanted and how he felt. The fact that I was entirely left out of the equation was not really a comfort, but there wasn't anything I could do or change to make it stop. 

I love the thrill of the chase and the excitement of maybe getting caught. Its addictive. The getting caught bit sucks when it happens, but it's never stopped me. I just keep doing it. That rush is almost better than sex. - Michael

Because I could. Plain and simple. The opportunity was there. I seized it. I didn't even think of my husband. I just thought of me - Jen

I was looking for something that I was not getting from my partner. I did not feel that she was sexually interested in me any more- so I began to look elsewhere – Callum

I honestly don't know why I did it. I loved my partner. I was satisfied with my partner. The attention was amazing, though. I think that's what it was. The excitement. I can't explain it any other way. It was purely about my ego. - Bridget

But It Was Just A Text!

When it comes to fidelity and staying faithful to your partner you really need to listen to them and talk to them and create boundaries and lines and offer open communication. I myself have an open marriage and my husband and I often play with other people (together and separately) but there is always an openness about it. Always! He could, at any given day, go through my texts, emails, whatever and I would be perfectly okay with that. Yes there are sexy messages in there and some photos of myself or ones people have sent to me, but he knows that. He knows and is okay with it just as everyone who is involved with me is. I make boundaries very clear with playmates. They know my situation and they know the limitations of my involvement. If anything was to change within the boundaries of my relationship (and in the past things have) then we sit down and talk about it. 

And that, my friends, is probably the key thing and what I got from almost every conversation I had with people. If you think you're doing something wrong... You probably are. If you think your partner may have a problem with a text, or a photo, or an act you have done, then that is most likely cheating. It's not rocket science, it really isn't. It's not about monogamy or what other people think or anything like that at all. It's about the rules you have set within the parameters of your own relationship. If, for whatever reason, the limitations and boundaries that are set in your relationship are not compatible with the way you want to live, and have no chance of being negotiated or changed, then it really is worth thinking about moving on. For your sake and the sake of your partners. It's not fair. You're both expecting different outcomes and different things, and someone is going to end up hurt and resentful. It's just the way it works. This works on both sides. I am not a monogamous person. I'm just not. I've tried it and I found it stifling. If someone cannot handle that about me, then that is up to them. But I make it very clear from the offset. This is where open communication from the beginning of your relationship is important. It can save a lot of pain and heartbreak later on.

He sent sexual stories - personalised ones, to one of his female friends. Now, to me - that is cheating... He told me that he honestly didn't see it as cheating; I had to explain my version of what constituted cheating to him and he told me that he understood and agreed with me [he went on to cheat three more times. Joining a dating site and kissing/sleeping with another person] I felt worthless and hopeless. It's not something I want to ever have to deal with. Cheating is never ok. - Anna

It was all verbal and via text...  We were both somewhat starved of attention at home and we both had what the other had craved which was extremely dangerous... I'm not sure if I'd call it emotional or almost physical, but I definitely felt guilty every time we talked. [I ended up having to break off all communication] There was no bad blood when we parted ways but the fact that it actually felt crushing like a breakup was very telling.   - Karly

The Other Side

In the conversation about infidelity we really do need to look at the other side. Not the cheaters or the cheated on but the people who are the lovers. Sometimes the lover is just as much in the dark. They don't know the person they are dating is married or in a long term relationship and that can be just as devastating. The betrayal is only matched by the guilt that you have been instrumental in someone's deception and, quite often, the blame is directed at you rather than the person who has done the cheating. 

This happened to me once. A lover I had taken (with full consent of my husband) turned out to be in a relationship he had failed to mention. His partner was livid. Understandably so... But her rage was centred at me. I tried to explain to her that I had not known, but that was apparently irrelevant. They are still together from what I hear, and he is still off on his lying ways... But she still manages to bring me up in conversation as some sort of monster. Which I now have to think of as amusing, because anything else is just depressing.

I spoke to a lot of people who have been “the other person” in an affair and the reasons were varied. The most common one, however, was safety of non-commitment. Great sex, gifts, excitement, the thrill of the secrecy and no strings. Although, when someone is being lied to there are always strings, and the outcomes of these affairs rarely ended well. The partner found out or one person's feelings became greater than what was on offer and inevitably someone (often everyone) ended up being hurt. Then there are people (myself included) who, no matter what, will not willingly become part of your deception. It doesn't matter what you offer, what you look like, how great you are in the sack... If you are in a committed relationship with someone else and you seek to find a bit-on-the-side, don't be surprised if you get knock-backs. On those times when I set up dating profiles to find playmates for myself or my marriage, and you respond but your profile says you're married I will either ignore you or ask you if your partner is aware of your contact with me. If you say no it's game over, if you say yes, I will ask your partner to contact me. Don't get pissed off. Don't act like I've asked for something I am not entitled to. I am absolutely entitled to know the situation I may be getting into and I will not be a part of your lie. It is all about respect. 

When I found out he was married my heart sank. It had all been a disgusting lie. We'd planned holidays and families and all sorts. It was just awful. I didn't date for a long time after that. – Hannah

I love being the “guy on the side”. I don't want a relationship and I know she will never leave him so this is safe... It would suck if her husband found out. But we're pretty careful. - Gary

There is no way I'd be with a married guy. What does that even say about his respect for anyone? Including himself. No way. Not my thing at all. - Helen

I've been the lover and I've also been the one being cheated on. I don't know how to explain or justify it. I hated being cheated on. But I had no problem being the “other woman”and I'd probably do it again. What does that say about me? - Natalie

Broken Trust

One thing was super clear in all the information I got and all the people I talked to was that once that trust was broken, regardless of what side you were on, it was almost impossible to get it back, and even when it was kind of mended, there was always that niggling doubt in the back of minds. “Would they cheat again?” “They will never trust me again.” and other thoughts like that. Emotions became heightened. Every buzz of a text message or ping of a Facebook post would cause anxiety, and simple, every day things like going to the shops or even to work were fraught with what ifs and doubts. Although it didn't necessarily stop a cheater from cheating, it really did cause tension, stress and, in many cases, inevitably led to the end of the relationship. You have to ask yourself if it's worth it. 

When it was still a secret is was fine, no one was getting hurt. When my wife found the messages between me and the girl, It almost ruined my relationship with her. Its been almost 2 years now and I can still remember the look of pain on her face. I cant justify the pain and suffering I caused her and I know that there will now forever be a niggle in the back of her mind asking if I have cheated on her again. - Callum

We moved on, started a family, and things have been really great. But every now and then if he's late home or leaves the room while on the phone I wonder. I can't help it. I think I'll always wonder. - Steph

I think the main points that you need to think about when considering cheating, or wondering if the message you just sent could be mistaken for cheating by your partner are these: Is it worth it? What would they say? Why am I doing it? And what does this say about me and my relationship?

Be honest and open and keep the conversations going because if you can't open your heart and mind to the person you've chosen to share your life with, then maybe it's time to ask yourself why.

33 Member Comments

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  1. allinmymind

    More than a month ago
    This article looking at the headlines has nothing to do with the word affair. Affair would be sex and more than once, yet there is txting, cheating and infidelity which is one thing, affair can include those but isn't made up of those. On amm people usually have more than one option, so the idea that we go and have one affair seems a little far fetched, or are we having twenty affairs based sometimes on our phone messages.
  2. allinmymind

    More than a month ago
    Everyone should read The Ethical Slut, it states pretty much what everyone has to lose at the start while also being positive about sluttiness. However, it doesn't back away from those things. You can't seem to change the world's opinions.

    Interestingly I have been given many lectures about being honest by this particular guy who has about a 20 year old profile picture. Amm should change the locations to be more areas than towns to help people be totally honest. Some people are very easily found.


    More than a month ago
    Where do we get a copy of the ethical slut please ?


    More than a month ago
    @cuddlypairrback you can purchase it online via Amazon and it's available as an ebook


    More than a month ago
    Some want to be found.


    More than a month ago
    I have been reading mine free, I think it is available still.

    No thorgodofthunde, if you have an unusual name in a small town, some blokes have told me they only had to put my first name and town down and they were outside my house on google earth. Some can get you through stupid google multiple accounts and same story. Why would a married person want people to know their street address, most people on here don't want people to know that as a public thing.
  3. BBWlikesfun1979

    More than a month ago
    There is more than one way to cheat in a relationship. I confess to cheating on my partner when we were together. I feel badly about it but it was a symptom of a bigger problem. My husband at the time rejected me constantly and would secretly masturbate rather than have sex with me. All forms of physical affection stopped including cuddling and kissing. At the time I told myself it was just sex but the sex was the easy thing to diagnose and blame for the lack of intimacy, honesty and closeness.
    I would never do it again unless in an open relationship. It's really about honesty rather than sex. When a couple has lost trust, openness and honesty in a relationship it's hard to get back to a place where both people are content.


    More than a month ago
    Bloody well written!
  4. allycat26

    More than a month ago
    Our culture needs new understandings, new language, new practices - new acceptance that mirrors ourselves. Deep inside their beings, lot of humans are not monogamous creatures. Monogamy serves ancient religious beliefs and the banking and real estate industry of today. Describing being true to oneself as cheating is wrong.
  5. tassieswingers

    More than a month ago
    Great article Eva. Thanks for writing it.
    We in the swingers world understand that line of trust and mutual agreement.
    Sometimes the line is crossed in the heat of the moment but mostly there is a communication channel already established in open relationships that allows for forgiveness and establishing new boundaries.
    We believe that there is an inescapable very basic instinct that causes people to be attracted to each other. There is not too much science or logic in it.
    There is a huge difference between wanting to spend your life with someone and being attracted to others. A fling does not need to be a threat. If the relationship is not working though and the love is gone, the fling is most likely not a fling.
    Good luck everyone with relationships.

    Best wishes
  6. Iween1

    More than a month ago
    My five cents worth on the topic. Honesty is what I need in making a decision to connect with another person. I rule no one out on status alone. Immediately if the 'Status' is left blank I'll conclude they are married. Ironically, I have more respect for those being honest and disclosing their marital status. At least this way we chose them, or not, already knowing and we can chose based on our own personal beliefs. Myself, I'm after sexual fulfillment. I'm not judging another's status; that is up to them to be discerning and not my business. I'm after decent conversationalists and decent/indecent sex. It is not on my agenda to become emotionally connected to someone. Those types 'falling' like that need a different site to AMM!! My agenda is for me - and my pure delight in the male form - to spoil and turn on males and in return I get a lot of gratification; some males are attached and some are not. It works just fine as we know the deal up front. I'm not a home wrecker but if a girl was to contact me about their male 'playing up', I'd say he is the one she should be speaking with. I'm see open minded couples too. In the end discretion is of utmost importance. And remaining safe. Be open and honest - we all have needs and it how you go about it that counts. I won't respect someone I find who has information.


    More than a month ago
    I agree with what you are saying msviolet. There are many complicated issues around relationships - even in the best of them. A lot can go unsaid. In sensualover122's case his wife says that she doesn't mind but she also says "I don't want to know about it". Is that code for I don't like it? Maybe, maybe not.
    In my example, my wife doesn't want to have sex because it's painful for her. It's not that I am rough, quite the contrary I am very gentle and have tried all sorts of things to arouse her. It is a physical thing and an operation could fix the problem but she doesn't want to have the operation because of the risks involved. We do occasionally have oral sex but her fear is that it will lead to intercourse. I accept all that and we have a beautiful relationship without sex. We have many many other things in common and work and enjoy life together. However, my love language is physical touch. I can hug her and kiss her . . . and I do. A problem arises though - literally! I get excited and have to tame myself. The less sex I get, the more I think about it and the more I crave for it. But mostly the thing that I love most, giving pleasure through love making has been taken from me.
    Going back to sensualover122's comment on agreed upon external sex. If I was to say to my wife that I need to get it somewhere else I know that it would destroy the relationship that we have. So that gives me a choice:
    1. raise it with her and risk damaging the relationship
    2. decide to be celibate
    3. just keep on masturbating or
    4. be very discreet with someone else with a similar need
    There is another option I guess and that is to pay for it.


    More than a month ago
    I meant to say that I totally agree with lween1's comments as well. In particular about hiding the fact that you are married. People need to be more honest on their profiles to what they are looking for otherwise people are emotionally hurt. I like it when someone puts "no married men" on their profiles because then there is no need to pursue that person. Perhaps AMM could have an option on the search profile in regards to that.


    More than a month ago
    @johnb1953 Good suggestion, we've passed it on.


    More than a month ago
    Hi johnb1953, love exchanging ideas (no right or wrong)
    No, it's not code for 'I don't like it' IS 'I don't like it' code about it. But what's the alternative?
    That we break up because I like sex & she has issues with it because of stuff that happened to her way back when & she chooses not to deal with it?
    Again it is a personal, 'couple by couple' thang.
    In MY case, all this 'who's gonna be fucking who & who isn't' was ALL laid out, discussed & agreed upon before vows were made & rings were exchanged because we knew that there was a...ONE problem, as I'm pretty sure that you & your partner did...
    "the boundaries that have been laid down by the two people in the committed relationship" & "From the very start, every couple need to work out their boundaries & then stick to them"
    The operative being, "From the very start" in this instance.
    Again, no right or wrong just opinion.
    Logic & emotion; oil & water.


    More than a month ago
    Hi Iween1...."5 cents worth"...maybe 40 years ago; now it's more like $3.27 worth.
    But seriously, YES, honesty (honest honesty) give us the ability to make a truly informed decision & that is the crux of it.
  7. msviolet

    More than a month ago
    Thank you for the article nd everyones comments specially Johnb1953 I found it all too emotional and very.confusing. it is a very sensitive topic and to distinguish from.right and wrong boy I personally think its individuals perspective they see cheating.
    this is what I think..if u r married..people are so busy these days working long hours, then work at home, attend to kids, endless sports this nd that leaves very little time for conversation and coupling. Couples r too tired sex is non existence. Everyone is so caught up in their rat race we for forget how to b a couple.
    most of the time partners go out and have intimacy with someone one else to fill that void. sex is a very important thing in a relationship its a.bonding time i think brings them closer physically and emotionally. just remember women are emotionally charged that's us cheating cheating. We see things in a different light specially cheating, most women I work with husband looking at another.women is cheating leave alone sexting someone..what happens when a married guy.goes home and says sweetheart.what r yr thoughts on 3sum??. And she bluntly says it ain't happening. Its is obviously important to one.person nd he would go do it elsewhere isn't it.
    what Iam trying to say is...everyones interpretation of cheating will be tailored to their own beliefs, emotions experiences and situations and who am I to judge. we are all different with different wants and needs, sex is not just for procreation anymore like in dark aged we want to enjoy it embrace it and explore that's what gets us in trouble. msviolet
  8. sensualover122

    More than a month ago
    Cheating is cheating IF, in my opinion, you stray out side the boundaries that have been laid down by the two people in the committed (agreed upon) relationship.
    I'm on amm because, for reasons that are personal & private to my wife, she just isn't into sex.
    Her only two stipulations are that she doesn't want to know about it & "no bunny boilers" (Play Misty for Me/Fatal Attraction types)
    My heart & soul belong to my beautiful, amazing wife...we are solid; if I walked away from her I'd only be slicing my heart into bite size chunks for the hounds of hell to devour.
    Recreational intimacy is exactly that & has nothing to do with love & commitment; but you have to be true to yourself & to your life partner ie. no bullshit!
    If that means that you have to miss out on being intimate with someone that you REALLY want to be 'inside of' then THAT'S the way it is..."you can't always get what you want" especially if it's outside the 'agreed upon' rules for that particular couple.
    From the very start, every couple need to work out their boundaries & then stick to them.
    Honesty is respect for others & oneself.
    If you can't be honest then you shouldn't be in ANY relationship; pure & simple.


    More than a month ago
    Here here. Many relevant points, .....especially I agree with the last two sentences.
  9. ComputrSezNo

    More than a month ago
    Great article. I have been 'the other woman'. Not by choice. I was deceived. But I fell deeply, deeply in love with him. It has shattered my heart to pieces because he won't leave his wife even though I know he's not happy with her. I don't regret for a second having a relationship with him ... and truth be told, I punish myself because he is like my 'ice'. I can't get enough of him and I just want more! Impossible situation? Bad timing? Who knows? I will love him for ever. :'(


    More than a month ago
    Hi CSN,
    I've been there too sister & it aint easy to purge that sort of love/lust from your frail, human heart. It does take time; lotsa time...years in fact.
    If it's any consolation (& it usually isn't) many of us have been where you are & if you can take solace in that...
    Hopefully the partner who will 'blitz the purge' is not too far on your horizon.
    We acknowledge your pain.
  10. johnb1953

    More than a month ago
    Good grief Eva, you're still in nappies. It would be an interesting read if ever you rewrite it, in say 30 - 40 years. Drawing from your experiences as a 14 year old is scraping the barrel. That was also a bit confusing to the reader.


    More than a month ago
    Okay...Thanks for the input.
    You... You do realise I'm not 14 any more surely.
    Sorry that the only experience I have as a cheater was so many years ago. ??


    More than a month ago
    PS In 30/40 years I'll be like almost 80.
    But you've done wonders for my confidence. Haha. I guess I don't need to buy that wrinkle cream after all!


    More than a month ago
    Hey "Delicious" Eva,
    You got a huge laugh out aloud from me from your reply :)
    No, you are right, I didn't think that you were still 14 but if you use that wrinkle cream you might pass for it. I honestly thought, by your photo, that you were early to mid 20s. That should help with the confidence :)
    I don't think that you need me to tell you that though.
    Re your article, it was very well written, I should have led with that in my comment.
    For what it's worth I'll give you my story re "cheating".


    More than a month ago
    My story
    I've been married 3 times. For some that might be a negative straight off - perhaps thinking "he can't hold a relationship together".
    My first marriage was the longest. Don't laugh but I was a virgin when I married in my early twenties. A few years in with a couple of small kids I was working very hard in my career. I wanted my wife to be able to look after the kids rather than a day care. Also she had no aspirations with a career.
    Then I found out that she was 'cheating" with a neighbour and leaving the kids asleep in the house - I was totally flabbergasted but in time 'sort of' forgave her. My thoughts, totally wrong, were revenge - go and find someone to "cheat" with I thought. But I didn't. However a few years or so later we met a really nice couple and became friends with them. I must admit that I fancied the lady and I know that she fancied me. Next thing I know I am living my wildest dreams. We ended up in a threesome. Of course there was an ulterior motive here, my wife was keen on the hubby. The threesomes changed to twosomes and we met secretly on a regular basis. Before I knew it I was 'cheating'. Man it was good sex though. We connected in my bed, in her bed, in someone else's bed, in a motel, on the floor, in the car, in an office, in a factory, in a park, in the bush, at a lookout, on a bush track, under a waterfall, beside a creek, on a picnic table, in a cave and even talked about 'having it' in the snow. Well it was that relationship that ended my marriage because I was 'cheating'. Fortunately the other couple's marriage didn't break up.
    Then I met the girl of my dreams on Matchmaker before it was Adult Matchmaker. We had a wonderful relationship and some years later she died.
    I am now married 'happily' again but I am sorry to say that I am on here 'cheating'. I am a sexual being and love being with and love to please women. As much as I love my wife, there is no, or very little sex. We have many other wonderful things in common and I love her and respect her deeply. Unfortunately I can't follow through in the bedroom. Am I being 'cheated'? I even 'cheat' when I practise my masturbation techniques.
    I believe that if two consenting adults agree to having a secret liaison that fulfils something that is missing in their lives, and as long as it is discreet and NOONE is hurt, then it's ok. But it has to be a physical thing and the hardest thing is, I believe, that women are very emotional beings. That's not to say that guys aren't too, because I am one. But if two people (or more) come together consensually for sexual fun, not for emotional 'love', then why not.
    Obviously I could elaborate more on that but it's your article not mine. I am not suggesting that everyone should go out and cheat on their partners. The best is when both partners connect on all levels. Then there is no reason to cheat. In my mind that is. :)
    Thanks for your article as it has stimulated my thinking.


    More than a month ago
    I give great angles. Haha. But thank you.
    I'm also very sorry for your loss. It's hard when someone you love deeply passes.
    I wish you all the very best in your adventures and experiences. Please just be aware that, like I stated in the piece, you're right.. It's great and all... Til something goes wrong. I hope your situation stays in the "not hurting anyone" box.
    Thanks for sharing your story. It's always interesting hearing of others' experiences. Have a wonderful weekend.


    More than a month ago
    I always wonder about the "if it is not hurting anyone" 'cause no one can guarantee that. Which makes me look like I was disagreeing with your post, which I liked.
    Something can go wrong with txting, talking online on facebook, and heaps of other things. Dr. Phil even goes on about emotional cheating, emotional affairs. If people want to judge they will. And on some level it is right. Cheating is not a very good word.
  11. BinTravelin

    More than a month ago
    Its a good article, but I'm confused about one point. The writer claims to have been cheated on many times herself, yet also claims the person she cheated with at 14 is now her husband. We're all the people cheating on her before she was 14, or was there a long break between cheating as a 14 year old, then actually marrying that person, during which time she was cheated on?!?!

    A bit of a while in the story!


    More than a month ago
    I met my husband when I was 11 years old. I know right.
    I kissed him when I was 14 and seeing another boy.
    Me and future husband were best friends for many years before we finally decided to become an actual proper couple. During that time he and I had many other relationships. I was 23ish when we made it official. I'm nearly 40 now.
    Hope that clears up any confusion.
  12. sweetangelic2

    More than a month ago
    I loved this article... It was very informative and does give the reader a different outlook... I have been the other woman and that can hurt when you get way too attached. I have also been cheated on lots of times, and once i retaliated as well. Now though, i believe that i will only go for are the "open relationship types" as i love the honesty of that lifestyle... I don't have a problem with honesty but find that a lot of people have a different version of what that means...
    Thanks for the great read.
  13. Ineed2bfucked

    More than a month ago
    Wow what a very good piece to read.
    Thank you

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