Social Question

chyna's avatar

If you find out your S/O has been having dinner and drinks once a month with a friend, would you consider that cheating?

Asked by chyna (43601points) May 17th, 2012

I’m having a debate with a friend over this. If your S/O is going out on a regular basis, say once a month, with a friend and doesn’t tell you, would you consider this person is cheating, or at the very least, dishonest? Let’s say there really is nothing going on other than dinner and drinks. Do you think your S/O should tell you? I think by keeping it quiet, it makes it look like something is, or could be going on. If nothing is going on, why not tell the S/O?

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49 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The not telling part would be a point of contention with me. I don’t have a problem with idea if they are upfront and honest about it, but why hide it. That raises a red flag with me. It’s not cheating but it is dishonest.

SuperMouse's avatar

If they are not telling there must be a reason why. I would consider it cheating at worst and dishonest at best.

nikipedia's avatar

It’s not cheating, but it’s definitely lying.

zenvelo's avatar

Like other people here, I agree the non-disclosure is the sticking point here. There is no excuse for keeping a secret like this from a partner; by doing so one makes it a matter of breaking trust.

I can hear the conversation:
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I knew you’d be mad like you are now.”
“I’m mad because you didn’t tell me, we didn’t have a chance to discuss it.”

digitalimpression's avatar

Same as everyone else said x 5

jrpowell's avatar

I would be a bit upset. No real reason to hide the fact if it was innocent. I wouldn’t really care if the person was like, “I’m going out with a friend from school/work.”

I would shrug it off and go Back to playing Plants vs. Zombies.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My SO couldn’t pull it off, at least while I am with him. He comes home directly after work and usually wants to eat. Even if he had this type of arrangement with someone else, he is courteous enough to call in advance to give me a heads up that he will be late and won’t be hungry. Neither of us are jealous of the other’s relationships with friends.

But…if I did find out that this was occurring, I would be very curious why he felt the need to keep it from me. Hurt? Probably. Jealous? No. Assume that he is cheating? Absolutely not.

Ela's avatar

You should always tell your S/O and help prevent misunderstandings that can turn ‘nothings’ into ‘somethings’, imo.

Mariah's avatar

I feel like the context and intent would really change how I interpret the situation.

Planning weeks in advance to meet at some dimly lit fancy restaurant when I’m out of town? Shady and dishonest.

But my view is a little skewed as a college student because I can’t help thinking of this in terms of my own life. And I know this isn’t really what you had in mind with asking the question. But I go to a college that’s about ⅔ male and literally every friend I have is male. I don’t always tell my S/O about every single meal I share with a male friend because sometimes it’s as simple as “Sean and I had a class together that ended at noon, and we went to the dining hall together afterwards.” It just seems like a nonissue and I don’t feel like I should have to disclose every little thing I do with my friends. So that’s why I say context matters to me.

Trillian's avatar

Yep. It’s dishonest, which leads to trust issues. It absolutely could be completely innocent, but it does not speak well for the S/O. At the very least, he is engaging in activity which he and the other person are conspiring to keep you out of. That puts it in a different light. It is a deliberate lie of omission. It can also lead to an active lie, if he were to be asked to account for his whereabouts for that time. Why go to the trouble?
If he lies about this, one can only assume that he lies about other things.

chyna's avatar

@Trillian This isn’t about my situation, heck I haven’t had a date in years! But it is about a friend who doesn’t see that it’s probably going to cause trouble.

Trillian's avatar

@chyna hey sugar, how are you? I wasn’t speaking to you in particular, just my assessment of the situation. Your friend is probably going to have to learn the hard way. (I also haven’t been on a date in forever. Apparently I can not make good choices in men, and I still send out a vibe that attracts the wrong sort, so I just exist without. I find I can bear the solitude quite well.)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not cheating but by keeping it quiet it smacks of something going on in the SO’s head (at least) to the point they don’t want the other to know about it. I would think it’s strange if my husband did that. He on the other hand probably wouldn’t care if I did it. I’m from the end of the spectrum where I’m used to my SO being by best friend and we share everything but my husband’s on the end of the spectrum where if you don’t fight with your spouse then that means all else is cool. It’s a learning thing, for sure.

Cruiser's avatar

I agree with @Trillian, that situation just sets the table for trust issues and doesn’t reflect well on the S/O who for whatever reason has been keeping this under wraps. I would tell your friend to go surprise them, introduce yourself and sit down and join them.

SpatzieLover's avatar

It’s lying by omission. I would be perturbed to say the least.
For me it would lead to distrust.

6rant6's avatar

I’m scootching the jelly here, which I hate if you do on my questions. Sorry.

Seems like labeling the action “cheating” or “dishonest” isn’t really helpful (although great fun on Fluther). This great rush to mark things on the yardstick of social absolutism masks the serious job of figuring out what to do.

The real questions would be: Can I put up with it with what they are doing? What alternatives do I have besides accepting the status quo? Will they change their behavior if confronted? Can I be happy if they say they will change?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@6rant6: right on! This opens up the dialogue for each partner to define to the other what they call this behavior without using the traditional words of “cheating” or “dishonesty” which could immediately put up defenses.

SpatzieLover's avatar

For me @6rant6 I’d consider it dishonest, untrustworthy behavior. Would I put up with it? No way.

It’s simple to say “Hey sweetie, I’ll be home a little later than normal. I’m headed out to my monthly social night. Don’t worry about dinner!” <——That’s what my actual husband does, when he has an actual social engagement after work.

Blackberry's avatar

Not cheating at all. It depends on if the person is accustomed to being interrogated by their significant other.

Coloma's avatar

Secrets destroy intimacy, so yes, I would consider the lying by omission to be a red flag.
I wouldn’t jump to conclusions of cheating but I believe in being an open book in relationships. If you have nothing to hide you hide nothing. People don’t just “forget” to share their daily doings with a partner.

6rant6's avatar

I know a guy who does 3–5 musical gigs a week in addition to a regular job. He says his wife is a saint. Here’s a conversation:

He: I’m going out.
She: What are you doing?
He: Picking up chicks.
She: Don’t bring any home.

Blackberry's avatar

@6rant6 She is the 1%.

wundayatta's avatar

Is this once a month a long standing night home later than usual? Does the husband have other social engagements that don’t include the wife? Is this a business friend or a friend from elsewhere? Have these engagements been going on for years or a shorter period of time? Has the wife just recently discovered they were with a friend? What did she think was happening prior to this discovery? Is the friend male or female? What kind of friendship is it? Does the wife know the friend?

I’m sorry, but there’s too little information here to really understand the circumstances of this situation. And I’m reluctant to try to make up a rule that covers all such situations.

Coloma's avatar

@6rant6 Unless you’re joking, the woman is not a “saint” she’s a codependent masochist. Gah!

chyna's avatar

@wundayatta Since it’s not me, I don’t have all the details, but I think it has been going on only since my male friend divorced, about a year. The person not telling her S/O is a female. This was a friendship from school days and had reconnected. That’s all the info I have.

Blackberry's avatar

@Coloma Don’t question the 1%, they’re freedom creators.

ucme's avatar

I’m not her bloody keeper, she can come & go just as she pleases.
I trust her implicitly, the only time I have cause for concern is when she enters the kitchen & approaches the stove :¬(

wundayatta's avatar

@chyna Now I’m more confused. Your male friend is worried about his ex-wife’s visits with an old school friend? I know I’ve gotten something messed up here. I hope you can see my confusion and fix it.

Coloma's avatar

@Blackberry True, if it’s mutual freedom , not one sided martyrdom to maintain the status quo. ;-)

chyna's avatar

@wundayatta Seriously, it’s not that important.

Cruiser's avatar

@chyna Can I ask if you know if this guy you know is attracted to this woman? I can see how she may think it easier to not create a problem with her S/O over an occasional visit with and opposite sex friendship from the past but if there is chemistry happening here I think your question begs the obvious.

syz's avatar

Not cheating, no. But that sounds like intentional withholding, which is a form of deceit. The obvious questions would be 1) why is my SO hiding the information and 2)is there something about me that makes my SO think she can’t talk to me about it.

chyna's avatar

@Cruiser He says she is gorgeous, but he isn’t interested in her in that way.

Cruiser's avatar

@chyna I had a similar instance not long ago with my wife. I went to a concert with my buddies and ran into an old friend of my ex-wife I hadn’t seen in 20 years. He and I exchanged phone #‘s and emails. I totally forgot about the meeting and told my wife a few weeks later and the first thing out of her mouth was was your ex-wife there?? It would have been a lot easier to just not have said anything.

chyna's avatar

@Cruiser Yeah, sometimes it’s just easier to keep quiet about some things.

6rant6's avatar

@Coloma Methinks you projecteth too much.

The story is an illustration of a woman’s trust in a man who does not cheat on her, but is actually very busy. He teases her and thinks her a jewel for responding in kind.

marinelife's avatar

If we were in an exclusive relationship and he was meeting someone for dinner and drinks (or anything else) and did not tell me I would consider it cheating.

Because it means that he is thinking about this person a lot and keeping it from me deliberately.

deni's avatar

I don’t think you have to tell each other every little detail. But if I ask “What’d you do last night?” and you went to dinner with a friend and had drinks and you say anything other than that, then there’s a reason to think something fishy is happening. You can’t really hide something unless there’s something to hide to begin with. I’d be asking a lot of “Why wouldn’t you just tell me?”

cazzie's avatar

It isn’t good if it bothers the other person. If the friend is bothered by it, he should stop or be more forthcoming or include her.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Blackberry It depends on if the person is accustomed to being interrogated by their significant other.. Interrogated? Seriously? First of all if the wife doesn’t know anything about these little rendezvous there isn’t much of a chance she is interrogating him about it. Second, if they are in a committed monogamous relationship, he has no feelings for her, and it isn’t cheating at all, why not just tell her? Even the most trustworthy person in the most trust filled relationship is going to raise an eyebrow at their SO meeting with a person of the opposite sex without bothering to share that fact.

Coloma's avatar

@6rant6 No projection, I said if you were being humorous, apparently you were. Nuff said, save the bitchy little comments ey?

augustlan's avatar

I wouldn’t consider it cheating, but I’d be beyond pissed that my SO hid it from me. As I said, in the other ‘lying’ question, Don’t. Fucking. Lie to me! Even by omission.

6rant6's avatar

@Coloma I bow to the Queen of ‘em.

I was relating a story with some humor in it, but it was an actual event, making an actual point, not just making a personal attack.

Coloma's avatar

@6rant6 Is that so? Oookay, we’ll wanna go to prom with me? lol

6rant6's avatar

@coloma Jesus. And have to explain everything to you? Maybe we could just hang out and play xBox.

Coloma's avatar

@6rant6 Uh no, I don’t do Xbox…generation gap.

6rant6's avatar

@Coloma You could learn. That is to say, one can learn. I know nothing of your “special circumstances.”

Blackberry's avatar

@SuperMouse Yeah, I agree, but that can still be a factor. Like @Cruiser said: some things are better not being said if it’s going to create a huge discussion. If I’m aware my partner blows things out of proportion (I guess I wouldn’t be with them if that was the case, anyway), it’s much easier to not say anything. Every interaction with someone of the opposite sex doesnt need to be justified and critiqued, even though I’m aware that’s the societal standard.

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