Needs and Cheating

Last night’s shrink session with Helga’s LA Ken was a wake up call. I guess I really need things spelled out for me in black and white. Give it to me straight and hard, I said. And straight and hard it was. Thanks H for unknowingly lending me your guy while you were sleeping :p

Among other things discussed is the topic of cheating. Where does one draw the line, really? We all have certain needs, and if the partner fails to fulfill that particular need, what do you do?

a. Nothing
b. Deal with it yourself
c. Go look for others to fulfill it
d. Get pissed/frustrated/annoyed/guilty for even thinking of looking for others to fill that void instead of that person you were counting on

Needs, in this context, do not necessarily mean sexual. It could be a plethora of things. Emotional needs i.e, tenderness, attention, support, as well as intellectual discourse, financial, what have you.

As for my answer, I usually end with with the letter D.

I learned that it is unfair to expect everything from a partner. I used to have lots of expectations from my men, but look where it got me. And thus my mantra, “No expectations, no disappointments”. In my case, however, because I think the world of my partner, when I get disappointed, I really get disappointed. I end up bashing myself for wanting those stupid ~needs~ in the first place. And so, disappointments lead to self-destruction, which leads to feeling helpless and dependent on the partner, which leads again to self-bashing for being heavily invested in someone in the first place. When you’re in too deep, it’s hard to get out. I’m too confused with the vicious cycle that I don’t know what to do anymore.

LA Ken, however, pointed out that I have misplaced guilt. I have been feeling somehow guilty about my perfectly normal ~needs~, not just because the partner doesn’t like it, but also because I have been wondering what it is about me that has not been able to make a man love me for what I am. Why is it that I always feel that I do everything wrong?

Is it the partner’s fault for not realizing your needs? I don’t think so. Not entirely, at least. Although a little intuition and sensitivity would help. It could be yours for not spelling it out properly, by being too vague, or for expecting your partner to pick up the nuances. Of course it would be great to have somebody like that, but one must remember that your partner could be dealing with something at that moment, thus s/he cannot deal with you. The big, common mistake here happens when you would think you are being ignored or not taken care of. This is one of the precious things I’ve learned.

So, cheating. I would be a hypocrite if I’d say the thought never occurred to me. In the rare instances that it did, something heartbreaking must have really happened. But I never brought myself to do it, hell, I do not even step out of the house, much more going out and hooking up with some random guy to have mindless sex.

How does one define cheating, then? Is it when you watch porn? Talking to another person hoping to connect and be understood? Flirting for self-validation? Writing on your blog about the two of you and hitting the publish button and letting the world know? It could be a mindless act, or something you do out of spite just to have that void filled. However you do it, in the end you ask yourself, do I feel guilty?

I asked the Swede once what he thought of cheating, and he said he draws the line at intimacy. I’m an intimacy junkie, so I agreed, and LA Ken thought so too.

“Intimacy is based on shared vulnerability…nothing deepens intimacy like the experiences that we share when we feel flayed, with our skins off, scared and vulnerable, and our partner is there with us, willing to share in the scary stuff.”

-:The Ethical Slut by Dossie Eastman and Katherine Liszt:-

Oh, how I’ve missed it. And you.