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Pandora's avatar

Men at what point do you consider your relationship has turned into an affair?

Asked by Pandora (27776points) May 27th, 2010

Lets say it is physically impossible because of some medical problem to have a sexual relationship. At what point in a relationship with a women other than your spouse would you think you are having an affair? Or do you believe the lack of sexual intercourse nulls and voids the word affair?

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35 Answers

MrItty's avatar

The instant you’ve done something or felt something that you don’t want your spouse to know about.

CrazyRedHead's avatar

I see it as the moment it becomes situations with this women that you wouldn’t want your spouse to know about, it becomes an affair

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sleepdoc's avatar

This come down to how one defines intimacy. If you think of it as only sexual that you would way that one hasn’t cheated until that line has been crossed.

JLeslie's avatar

I remember once, in the very beginning of my relationship with my husband, somehow the topic of cheating came up and he said, “emotional cheating is cheating, just being distracted from your primary relationship by another person is enough.” I was very happy he thought that way.

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Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie So would that include his male relationships as well? I’ve seen guys so attached to their guy pals that their wives become secondary. Especially if the pal is a childhood long friend.
So it got me wondering if disloyalty in effect is seen as a kind of cheating even though it has no sexual component in it? Have you heard the saying bro’s before ho’s? Its kind of what a lot of people call a bromance. So would that be considered to equal an affair?

sleepdoc's avatar

@Pandora… wow I find your twist on the sex a very intriguing one!

rebbel's avatar

@Pandora
I don’t know why i would not call the bromance an affair, i can not word it.
But there are also men who put their car on nr.1 and their wives/girlfriends on nr.2, and that for sure is not considered (by me) an affair.

Cruiser's avatar

@Pandora Then what about computers, cell phones, and video games, sports cars and vegetable gardens??

Pandora's avatar

@Cruiser You horny bastards. Nothing is sacred. LOL

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora Well, I guess yes it is a sort of cheating. The OP’s question was about an affair, which I guess does not necessarily mean cheating, the OP might have meant simply when a relationship becomes an affair?? But, if we stick to the cheating idea, then yes, I think it can be with a same sex friend, facebook, fluther, etc. My husband hates when he walks in from work and I am on the computer, I think I would actually say jealous. He is not generally jealous, I do have male friends, and if I want to take a vacation with my girlfriends he would never object. It has something to do with how much time it takes away from the relationship I think in those platonic type situations or distractions. Whereas a sexual affair, even if it is just 30 minutes a day on a lunch break, that theoretically takes no time away from one’s spouse is a no-no. The thing is even the 30 minute no-no is probably occupying that persons mind and bleeding into the rest of the relationship. I have never met a cheater who didn’t have some recognizable symptoms of cheating.

CrazyRedHead's avatar

@Pandora I see what you’re saying. I would say more or less what I was trying to get at is that cheating is not defined by a physical action but it can also be an emotional feeling towards someone. So whether or not you act on your feelings you may be emotionally cheating.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I just realized you were the orginal poster, sorry my response overlooked that.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie & @CrazyRedHead I see we are in aggreement but I often wonder would a guy see it the same way. They may if the shoe is on the other foot but if they are the ones who are guilty of such an offense do they see it as kind of an affair? In my eyes an addiction that impairs a marriage is a type of infidelity. But with guys, do they only consider it a problem if it leads to something sexual?
@JLeslie No sweat.

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MrItty's avatar

@Pandora @JLeslie @CrazyRedHead well, this one particular guy’s perspective:

no, a male-best-friend type of relationship would not qualify as an affair. Because I wouldn’t be ashamed or secretive toward my wife about it. It would not feel “wrong” in any way. Along the same lines, even if the best friend was female, it wouldn’t be an affair, unless my feelings toward that best friend changed from those I should feel toward a friend to those I should feel toward a romantic or sexual partner. When that happened, I would feel ashamed or embarassed, and not want my wife to know about it. Which takes me back to my original definition.

MrItty's avatar

Addendum: the above is not to say that ignoring my wife in favor of a best friend would be “okay” in any way shape or form. It would signal a pretty serious problem with the marriage. It just wouldn’t fit the definition of “affair”.

CrazyRedHead's avatar

@MrItty I agree with you I see where my response may have been misconstrued to say otherwise

Pandora's avatar

@MrItty I see your point. However taking out any sexual nature, lets say that your pal seems to have more input in your life than your spouse? Its not physically cheating but aren’t you depriving her of a full relationship with her? So in essence wouldn’t it still be cheating?

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora My guess would be that my husband would not have a double standard when it came to an “affair” with the opposite sex, even emotional cheating. But, that he might rationalize time he spends on ebay looking at cars as different than my time on fluther. I think @MrItty is right, that it isn’t necessarily an affair, but it is a distraction from the marriage. In the end it all counts though doesn’t it? I guess it just matters how loosely we are willing to use the term affair, or addiction, or distraction. I guess affair would mean all of society will be on your side, but if your spouse is spending time with friends many people will say people should be able to have their friends. I kind of think worrying about the specific definition might not be important, but that each couple has their own definition and expectations for what feels right to them. Not that I think there is anything wrong with the question, I am curious also to see how men answer :).

MrItty's avatar

@Pandora “cheating” to me means doing something with someone else that you should only be doing with your spouse. Just “spending time with” doesn’t qualify, as that’s not something that is supposed to be exclusively done with your spouse. Now if my friend and I were making life decisions together, deciding what to name my prospective children, planning an addition to the house, then maybe I might agree (and I would also agree that it’s a pretty f’ed up friendship).

MrItty's avatar

Agreed with @JLeslie – what the term used to describe the situation is, is irrelevant. All that matters is the end result. If one member of the marriage is feeling neglected or pushed to the side, that’s a problem, regardless of whether it can be termed an “affair” or not.

CMaz's avatar

When your time and desire is to be and with that person. More often, then with your SO.

Scooby's avatar

It never gets that far! ;-/

CaptainHarley's avatar

At the point of entry. : )

evandad's avatar

No sex would be the end of the relationship so there wouldn’t be an affair

Pandora's avatar

@evandad No sex with your partner or the other person?

Pandora's avatar

Wow my first censorship. Only I don’t recall being hostile to anyone on this thread or saying anything dirty. I usually am very careful to consider kids reading my posts? So what gives?

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Pandora

The mods seem to have been unusually active this last 24 hours.

MrItty's avatar

@Pandora Ever since they split out the site into “general” and “social”, they’re being somewhat draconian in removing anything that’s even remotely off-topic from the General Section. <shrug>

janbb's avatar

@Pandora You’re not a mod-virgin any more then!

ava's avatar

I believe an affair happens in the kitchen. So working parts or not, You + She…a little sesh of talking and cous cous making = an affair to me.

Pandora's avatar

@ava LOL
@janbb, OMG, I’ve been violated! Hope I didn’t catch anything.
@MrItty, Guess I should be glad they can’t attach some stones around my ankle and throw me in a river to see if I float. :D
@CaptainHarley Thanks, good to know. :)

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