Puzzling Cheater Thinking


Thou shalt not commit adultery.

-Exodus 20:14, KJV

This morning I was driving to the office and listening to the radio. A local station had a session where people could call in to the station and share regrets about their weekend activities.

“Andrea” called into the station.

She shared the story about going to a Halloween party over the weekend with her husband of eight years. Alcohol was involved, of course. She ends up feeling up another dude in the–seemingly–same costume as her husband.

“Andrea” realizes this person isn’t her husband when she feels this guy’s penis. But she claims she is so turned on that she continues to go away with the guy for a little bit.

The radio host/hostess pointed out to her that “Andrea” had cheated on her husband and wondered if she had told him about it. She pushes back denying it went “all the way.” They called her out on this. I had to stop listening about the time “Andrea” revealed that she hadn’t told her husband about this encounter.

This whole exchange got me thinking…

1) The lie believed by “Andrea” is readily apparent.

She was trying to sell her sexual encounter as not really being cheating. It was “just” fun. Variety. She wasn’t looking for it to happen but rolled with it when it did.

In other words, she minimized it.

Anyone not entangled by such a lie can easily see that such an encounter is both sexual and wrong. She definitely cheated on her husband! Plus, I am pretty sure such contact in many cases–although I am no lawyer here–would constitute sexual assault if it had been unwanted.

2) She did not seem heartbroken by what she did. That reveals her values.

This is the puzzling thing about cheater thinking. A normal loving spouse who values fidelity and cares about his/her partner would be heartbroken over such behavior. Such a person would be horrified to realize how he/she violated such deeply held values–i.e. fidelity and honesty–plus that is not to mention the harm done to a loved one by it.

Her actions–and what “Andrea” shared over the radio–make her real values apparent: She valued the novelty and excitement of the sexual encounter over fidelity and caring for his husband.

Such behavior is puzzling to us because we do not value those things over real people and keeping our vows. Cheaters do.

Or they, minimally, have sold themselves lies to blind themselves to such grievous violations.

3) She knew it was wrong. 

The fact that “Andrea” had not told her husband about says a lot. Plus, she acknowledged to the radio host/hostess that she would not have done what she had done in front of her husband. She knew it was wrong.

But she did it anyways. And kept it secret from her husband afterwards–even if for “only” a couple of days.

And there you have it:

  • Lies are believed or fabricated to excuse the desired behavior–i.e. the sexual encounter.

  • The wife’s true “god” is revealed–i.e. she valued momentary pleasure over righteous behavior and fidelity.

  • Finally, she knew in the end that what she did was wrong. She kept it secret from her victim–i.e. her husband.

***Another lie presented was that it not “going all the way” was okay. It was not cheating. Such is an excusing lie. It is simply false that only intercourse “counts” as cheating.