Dear Cup of Advice,
I just found out that my husband has been lying to me about a female friend he has been talking to. He met her in Mar of 2010 and I became aware of her in October 2012 when I found a voicemail from her. At the time I found the voice mail he had been out of school for a year and a half. He swore to me that they never hung out and that they never talked on the phone. Just recently he received a message from her on Facebook, which brought it all back up and come to find out, he claims he used to hang out with her after school in a study session, and they used to talk on the phone, but claims they never did anything sexual, he claims he never told me cause he was protecting me. In the meantime while he is with her I am home with our 3 children. Is this cheating even if nothing happened and he just lied about it.
  • Best Peer Answer

    Elijah G Clark
    Cup of Advice Response
    By Elijah G Clark

    What is considered cheating? Why would someone cheat when they are getting everything they need at home? Why do lovers cheat, even after they’ve been given everything to please them? Those who have been cheated on have given up friends, family and sometimes even another lover just to be with a noncommittal person. Nevertheless, the daunting question remains: why do people cheat? Furthermore, why are cheaters not satisfied with what they have?

    This answer is hard to explain. Firstly, I believe cheating to be similar to secrecy. In your situation, because your husband had feelings for and kept that person a secret, he already cheated mentally. A husband and wife should never hold secrets from one another, especially in the case of another woman or man in which you know nothing about, and have not approved. My best advice is to either contact the woman or tell your husband to set up a meeting and from there you can get a good idea of who she is. With that meeting, you can either accept that you trust her and him both or you have to sit down with your husband and explain to him your concerns and disapproval.

    About Cheating:

    Cheating is not always about sex. It is not even always about getting revenge on a lover. I’ve heard many reasons from cheater’s as to why they do what they do. One of the reasons is that they cheat because they just want someone to be there for them. Another reason is because of the simple convenience of getting what they want, when they want it. Cheating, most of the time is unintentional. Cheater’s may believe that juggling two people is more satisfying and interesting than having just one person. If you have two people, when one gets you upset, you can simply go to the second person to get comfort and relief from the situation.

    Many people just like to feel wanted, and cheating brings this comfort. In my opinion, there are four levels in a relationship that couples need to connect on in order to have a strong bond. Those four connections are spiritual, physical, mental and emotional.

    The two individuals must agree on beliefs. If you try to stick two people with two different belief systems together, the likelihood of constant confrontation increases. The only way that two people can be together and have different spiritual belief systems is if spirituality is of low relevancy to them. Two people with no belief systems do not have to worry about this level. There are also those couples who do make it work even without having this connection, but they need to look at themselves and see just how important their beliefs are to them. What priority does their belief system take in their lives?

    A mental connection with someone means being on the same intellectual level as that person. You connect in education and/or in knowledge. You feel as though this other person can teach you some things that you may find interesting. You may feel as though you were missing that person in your life, and they make you feel complete now that you have them. An example of two people being on the same intellectual level would be two co-workers who have the same job at work. These two individuals are mentally connected probably because they have the same education, career and, of course, the same job on which they can connect.

    Two people need to have a connection physically to stay together and have a better relationship. I am not just talking about sex. You have to be comfortable around someone to want to be with that person. A connection on the physical level may often take charge over a spiritual and mental connection. Some people are so caught-up in the other person physically that they do not pay attention to the mental and spiritual levels. Being physically connected to someone has greater manipulative power over any other connection.

    Emotions are the strongest of all four. Emotions are not exactly a connection; they are what control the connections. Emotions can easily manipulate all of the others. Emotions consist of love, hate, envy and so on—what we would call feelings. If you learn to control your emotions, you will have control over the spiritual, mental and physical connections. It is important to channel your emotions into these three connections wisely. Too much of your emotions put toward forming a physical connection, and you may get just that and nothing more. You may find yourself doing stupid things to satisfy your physical love. If you put all your emotions into forming a spiritual connection, you may find yourself going to church worshipping all day and paying less attention to your lover. What you need to do is learn to divide your emotions equally. Emotions can cause you to do things that you never expected to do; things that you never knew you could do; and things that you didn’t want to do. Love is the top emotion because love is stronger than hate. Love can cause you to hate. Love can cause you to envy, to get jealous, to destroy, to build and even to kill.

    Some cheater’s may just cheat due to convenience and excitement. However, without a connection on all four of these levels, more than likely one person in the relationship is bound to cheat on the other. The reason is because every individual needs those connections met and without having one, that person is incomplete in the relationship. Spiritual, mental, physical and emotional connections are key factors in having a successful relationship. If someone does not have all of these connections met in the relationship, they will intentionally or unintentionally go elsewhere to find the missing links. Even without looking, they can be unintentionally attracted to another person who has what their partner does not. If a man has a woman at home with whom he connects spiritually and physically, but a woman at work is on his mental level, he will find himself attracted to both women because he is at a deficit in his current relationship. When meeting someone for the first time, you must first be connected physically, then mentally and then spiritually. However, as the relationship progresses, that order must be reversed in order for that relationship to remain successful.
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