What Did She Say

My mind is always open

infidelity, cheating, different degrees of cheating

This post is inspired by a chat I had with a friend. We were talking about marriage and sex and lack of sex and people that have broken up due (at least in part) to infidelity. Some interesting views came up.

We know murder is broken into different degrees. Let’s focus on first and second degree.

First degree murder is a planned and deliberate action (among other things, but I’m sticking with this simple definition for this purpose.)

Second degree murder could be defined as “spur of the moment” or “in the heat of passion”.

This was what led me to this post. This friend said there are degrees of cheating. Somehow a planned liaison in, say, a hotel room was “cheating more” than, say, an indiscretion in the heat of the moment. The argument was that planning made it more wrong.

Second degree cheating” is more of a slip-up, if you will. And “first degree cheating” is higher up on the “wrong” scale.

What are your thoughts?

infidelity, cheating, degrees of cheating

Would you be more upset if your partner pre-meditated the infidelity? If he or she had to think about it, create an alibi, book/get a hotel room and go knowing he or she was going to cheat on you?

Or would you be just as upset if your partner got caught up in the heat of passion and, rather than stopping, when ahead with it?

Is one a momentary lapse in judgement and the other flat out wrong?

Are they the same or are there different degrees of infidelity?

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14 Responses so far.

  1. Michelle M says:

    I saw what cheating did to my sister, I do not find it acceptable in any form. Plus I don’t think I could ever trust that person again…ever. The trust you have as a couple (married or not) makes or breaks the relationship in my opinion. It breaks my heart to see so much of it around me though.

  2. Allie says:

    Boy, you’ve hit on my ‘favorite’ topic here. Very good questions. You know what they say (whoever “they” are) — you don’t trip and fall into bed with someone. You just can’t say there was “no time to think”…. even if it was only a minute or two. So, my answer: it’s all cheating, no ‘levels’.

  3. Mary says:

    Cheating is cheating. Whether it’s “just a kiss” or full on one-night-stand or a relationship that carries on for awhile, cheating IS cheating. It violates trust, plain & simple. It also is disrespectful to not just the partner who had the trust, but to family as well, especially if there are any children. My feelings on the matter are if a person cheats, they do not respect their partner. Not only that, but they do not respect themselves and they have issues with their self-esteem AND the relationship they are currently in that they need to deal with. IMO, there are no degrees of cheating. There are no slip ups. Pre-meditated or heat of the moment…both are cheating and in my eyes, a violation of trust and disrespectful. When a person cheats, it hurts so many people. Whether they like it or not, it may also change the way people close to them feel about them.

  4. Gary says:

    Interesting topic.

    A couple of thoughts. Trust. Cheating, premeditated or not, violates an assumed trust. The degree of the violation and associated penalties/outcomes may vary based on intention and circumstances. That trust has been violated does not change. The degree of the cheating (aka level of intimacy established) may determine whether the cheated choses to stay or go; whether they perceive the trust as be repairable or not.

  5. Jen says:

    Cheating is cheating, pre-mediated or not. No matter how it happens, the consequences are the same.

  6. john says:

    is flirting cheating too? sort of like assault or manslaughter? it is human nature to want to feel attractive and it is human nature to be attracted to people – i think the results of any action (cheating) stems from an issue of commitment or lack thereof – action, regardless of pre-meditation, is the problem.
    oddly, i find the ones that try to cover it up, think they are protecting the person they are cheating on… to put it simply, in a relationship, you’re either on your way in or on your way out – and the direction is absolute.

    • jackiyo says:

      There’s a whole lot of room for what people may call “cheating”. Flirting, sexting, online play, porn.

      Interesting point at the end.

  7. I think either way, I’d be finished with the relationship. I just don’t think a person who is happy cheats. Maybe it would change if I had it happen, but if a person is at a mental place where they cheat, I feel like they really weren’t that “into” their significant other.

    • Wayne says:

      “I just don’t think that a person who is happy cheats”
      Couldn’t agree more with you. There is very little positive ending for any cheating – except for the ending of the original relation.

  8. Danielle says:

    I actually just had a similar conversation over dinner with some friends recently. I don’t condone either one but I think there is a difference between getting carried away in a situation and falling into bed with someone unexpectantly and having a profile on Ashley Madison.

  9. Nico says:

    I think that the hurt caused would be the same in both situations, I think the difference would be in how easy it would be to forgive your partner. I think second degree cheating would be easier to forgive than first degree.

  10. Wayne says:

    as one person once stated “You’re either pregnant or your not.”
    If you cheat, you cheat. It’s like rape (or murder), did you plan on it? or did you stop thinking and do it anyway? – rape is rape, murder is murder.
    Either way the end result is the same.

  11. Nock4Six says:

    Ohhhhhhh….tough one. I think there are degrees of cheating, but I see it slightly different. For example, if your partner went out and ended up drunk and lip locked with another woman in the bar, that’s an example of second-degree cheating. First degree cheating would be anything that involved sex, regardless if planned or unplanned. Though, an ongoing affair would be much more difficult to deal with than a one-night stand, IMO. Either way, both would land that trash on the curb in my world. 🙂


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